The Cleveland Browns (5-7) host the Cincinnati Bengals (1-11) this weekend for an AFC North showdown for Ohio bragging rights. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on December 8th at FirstEnergy Stadium and the game will be televised on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Browns listed as 9-point home favorites. The spread has come down by half a point after early betting, as Cleveland is currently available at -8.5. The total for this matchup is 41 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 14 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Browns vs Bengals Game Odds & Betting Preview
The Bengals finally got in the win column last weekend, beating the New York Jets 22-6 at home to improve to 1-11 on the season overall. Cincinnati jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the first half and never looked back, completely shutting out Sam Darnold and Co. over the final 30 minutes of the game. QB Andy Dalton played fairly well in his first game back under center, going 22/37 for 243 passing yards and a touchdown through the air. RB Joe Mixon led the way on the ground, rumbling for 44 yards and a touchdown on a team-high 19 carries. Auden Tate and Tyler Boyd also contributed, combining for 125 receiving yards and a touchdown on 9 catches. Overall, the Bengals generated close to 300 total yards of offense and found the end zone twice in the win.
Cincinnati was very solid defensively against the Jets, surrendering around 300 total yards of offense and no touchdowns. The Bengals were especially impressive defending against the run, allowing only 62 rushing yards the entire game.
The Browns saw their three game winning streak come to an end last weekend after falling 20-13 on the road against Pittsburgh to drop to 5-7 on the season overall. Cleveland gave up seven unanswered points in the third quarter and never recovered, scoring only a single field goal the entire second half. QB Baker Mayfield went 18/32 for 196 passing yards and a touchdown through the air but also got picked off once as well. Nick Chubb couldn’t find much rushing room on the ground, gaining only 58 yards on 16 carries. Jarvis Landry led the way for the receiving corps, making six catches for 76 yards. As a whole, the Browns gained just over 300 total yards of offense but only scored one touchdown against a tough Steelers defense.
Cleveland had an average outing on the other side of the ball against the Steelers, giving up well over 300 total yards of offense and two touchdowns. The Browns had no answer for Pittsburgh WR James Washington, as he hauled in four catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Free NFL Betting Predictions and Pick: Bengals +8.5
I’m leaning towards taking Cincinnati and the 8.5 points in this AFC North showdown, as Andy Dalton certainly makes the Bengals much more competitive. Cleveland could suffer a bit of an emotional letdown in this particular spot as well, as their loss against Pittsburgh last weekend pretty much eliminated them from playoff contention. Of course, it’s probably a little unrealistic to expect Cincinnati to reel off a second straight victory after losing eleven straight outings to start the year. Even so, I think that the Bengals will be in good spirits after a much needed win and should find a way to keep things interesting against their longtime rivals here in Week 14.
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It is also important to note that Cincinnati has actually been the better team against the spread so far this season, going 5-6-1 ATS compared to the 4-7-1 record currently owned by the Browns. The Bengals have also dominated Cleveland against the spread over the past couple of years, going a very impressive 8-2 ATS over the last ten meetings between these two AFC North rivals. The Browns have really performed poorly at FirstEnergy Stadium against Cincinnati as well, failing to cover the number in five straight battles at home. I’m going to grab the 8.5 points and take a shot with the Bengals on Sunday afternoon – give me Cincinnati to cover!