The Cincinnati Bengals dominated their all-time series with the Cleveland Browns, winning seven straight meetings between 2014 and 2017 before dropping three in a row. Cincinnati concluded the 2019 season with a 33-23 home victory to improve to 51-42 against its in-state rival. The Bengals will attempt to begin another winning streak when they visit the Browns on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff from FirstEnergy Stadium, which is expected to be filled to 10 percent capacity, is set for 8:20 p.m. ET.
The Joe Burrow era got off to a disappointing start in Week 1 as Cincinnati suffered a 16-13 home loss against the Los Angeles Chargers despite having an opportunity to forge a tie in the final seconds. The Browns fared even worse on Sunday, scoring just once in a 38-6 thumping at Baltimore. Cleveland is a six-point favorite in the latest Browns vs. Bengals odds from William Hill, while the over-under is 44.5. Before locking in any Bengals vs. Browns picks or NFL predictions, make sure you see what SportsLine's all-time No. 1 NFL expert Mike Tierney has to say.
A national sportswriter whose work appears in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has covered the NFL for decades and reported from seven Super Bowls. He prefers to evaluate each game from the underdog's point of view and has used that philosophy to dominate the NFL, going 66-44 against the spread in 2019 and 63-46 in 2018.
Tierney entered the 2020 season with a 282-222 record at SportsLine (2016-19) on all NFL picks, returning $3,704 to $100 players, and hit all six of his Week 1 picks. He's also had a sharp eye for the tendencies of the Browns and Bengals, posting a combined 16-3 record on against the spread picks for or against Cleveland and Cincinnati. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Tierney has locked in on Bengals vs. Browns from every angle and released a confident against the spread pick. You can visit SportsLine now to see it. Here are several NFL betting lines and trends for Bengals vs. Browns:
- Bengals vs. Browns spread: Cleveland -6
- Bengals vs. Browns over-under: 44.5 points
- Bengals vs. Browns money line: Cleveland -255, Cincinnati +215
- CLE: Browns are 7-2 against the spread in their last nine Thursday games
- CIN: Bengals are 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 meetings with the Browns
Why the Browns can cover
Baker Mayfield threw 22 touchdown passes in 2019, making him the ninth player in NFL history to record at least 20 scores in each of his first two seasons. The former Heisman Trophy winner has faced Cincinnati four times thus far, posting a 100.5 overall rating with 10 touchdown passes, his highest total against any opponent. Mayfield has thrown for a pair of scores and run for another without being intercepted in two career games on Thursday Night Football.
Mayfield will likely hand off the ball often since the Browns' ground attack has two threats in Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. Hunt has recorded four touchdowns (two rushing) in three career meetings with Cincinnati, while Chubb has amassed at least 115 scrimmage yards in three of his four contests versus the Bengals.
Cleveland has gone 23 consecutive games without allowing a 300-yard passer or 300 net passing yards after limiting reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson to 275 and Baltimore to 270 in Week 1.
Why the Bengals can cover
Burrow's performance in his NFL debut was far from a disaster, as he completed 23 of 36 pass attempts and ran for a 23-yard touchdown. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner also was 9-of-12 for 77 yards on a late fourth-quarter drive that saw his three-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green wiped out by a penalty and Randy Bullock's potential game-tying field-goal attempt sail wide. Burrow completed passes to eight different players, four finishing with at least four receptions.
Giovani Bernard was one of those players, as he hauled in four passes to give him 299 career catches and overtake James Brooks (297) for most by a running back in franchise history. Cincinnati should be able to put pressure on Baker Mayfield, as defensive end Carlos Dunlap has registered 12.5 sacks in 17 career games against Cleveland, his most versus any opponent. Dunlap (81.5) and defensive tackle Geno Atkins (75.5) are the only pair of active teammates in the NFL with at least 75 sacks apiece.
How to make Bengals vs. Browns picks
Tierney is leaning Under, but he's also discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the Browns vs. Bengals spread. He's sharing it only at SportsLine.
Who wins Browns vs. Bengals on Thursday Night Football? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Bengals vs. Browns spread you should jump on, all from the NFL expert who's brought in over $3,700 to $100 players, and find out.