AFC North teams looking to move past disappointing openers meet up at 8:20 p.m. ET on Thursday Night Football when the Cleveland Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Joe Burrow's debut against the Chargers was spoiled when kicker Randy Bullock missed a 31-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining that would have tied the game last week. The Browns, meanwhile, were pummeled 38-6 by the Ravens in Week 1.
Thursday Night Football is the first game of the Week 2 NFL schedule. Cleveland is a six-point favorite in the latest Browns vs. Bengals odds from William Hill, while the over-under is 44.5 after spending most of Thursday at 43.5. Before locking in any Bengals vs. Browns picks, make sure you see the latest Thursday Night Football predictions from SportsLine's proven projection model.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up over $7,400 for $100 players on its top-rated NFL picks since its inception five years ago. It went a perfect 4-0 on top-rated NFL picks in Week 1, including calling easy covers by the Ravens and Bills. The model enters Week 2 on an incredible 100-65 roll on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.
The model ranked in the top 10 on NFLPickWatch in three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 95 percent of CBS Sports office pool players three times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
- Browns vs. Bengals spread: Cleveland -6
- Browns vs. Bengals over-under: 44.5 points
- Browns vs. Bengals money line: Cleveland -250, Cincinnati +210
- CLE: Browns have failed to cover five straight after yielding more than 30 points in their previous game
- CIN: Bengals are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games at Cleveland
Why the Browns can cover
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt comprise one of the most talented running backs duos in the league. Hunt saw more touches (17 to 11), but both were effective in spots against Baltimore last week. Chubb averaged 6.0 yards per carry, while Hunt averaged 5.5 and caught four passes. In what should be a more competitive matchup, Chubb, who ran for 1,494 yards and eight touchdowns last season, could get more opportunities on Thursday Night Football.
If Cleveland can keep the chains moving on the ground, that'll take pressure off quarterback Baker Mayfield and a rebuilt offensive line. The Browns are hopeful they'll have Jarvis Landry (hip) on the field often, while the entire Cleveland offense should benefit from disruptive Cincinnati defensive tackle Geno Atkins (shoulder) being held out of this matchup.
Why the Bengals can cover
Burrow did a strong job distributing the ball against the Chargers, completing passes to eight different receivers. Four players finished with four or more catches, with A.J. Green making a team-high five in his first game since Dec. 2, 2018. Wide receiver Tyler Boyd, running back Giovani Bernard and tight end C.J. Uzomah each had four receptions, with the latter averaging a club-best 11.3 yards.
A fifth-round draft pick out of Auburn in 2015, Uzomah has 18 catches for 132 yards in eight games against Cleveland, his highest totals versus any opponent. The 27-year-old also has recorded two of his seven career touchdowns against the Browns.
Wide receiver John Ross III, who had two receptions for 17 yards in the season opener, has hauled in eight passes for 104 yards and two TDs, also his highest totals, in four meetings with Cleveland.
How to make Browns vs. Bengals picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total. In fact, it says Burrow and Mayfield each record over 250 passing yards and combine to throw more than three touchdowns. It also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Browns vs. Bengals on Thursday Night Football? And which side of the spread cashes well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Bengals vs. Browns spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up more than $7,400 on its top-rated NFL picks, and find out.