Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Preview
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium — Cleveland, Ohio
When: Sunday, December 11, 2016, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
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Betting on the Cincinnati Bengals (-6)
The Cincinnati Bengals returned to winning ways on Sunday with a convincing 32-14 victory over the reeling Philadelphia Eagles. It was a huge bounce-back win for the Bengals, who recorded their first win since October. With the victory, the Bengals improved to 4-7-1 as they moved to within 2.5 games of Pittsburgh and Baltimore for the AFC North lead.
Key to the Bengals’ victory was their much-improved play on the offensive end. After failing to record more than 20 points in each of their last three outings, Cincinnati finally got its act together against one of the league’s best defenses. The Bengals racked up a whopping 412 yards against the Eagles. Andy Dalton starred for Cincinnati in this lopsided win, completing 23 of 31 passes for 332 yards and a pair of scores without an interception or a sack. That’s quite a feat for Dalton who was working with a make-shift offensive lineup that didn’t include wide receiver A.J. Green and running back Giovani Bernard.
For the Bengals to make it back-to-back wins against the Browns, they will need to continue their excellent play on the defensive end. Cincinnati’s defense pitched a first-half shutout on Sunday as the Bengals sent the Eagles to their worst loss of the season. They harassed rookie Carson Wentz all day long as he threw a career-high three interceptions. Vontaze Burfict collected two of those picks as he produced his best game of the year.
Burfict, who recorded multiple interceptions for the first time in his career, also had 15 total tackles and four pass deflections against the Eagles. He will be licking his chops at the prospect of facing a Cleveland side that’s averaging just 9.8 points over their last four games.
The Bengals are 0-5-1 ATS on the road this season.
Betting on the Cleveland Browns (+6)
Cleveland’s bye week couldn’t have come at a much opportune time after the Browns absorbed their 12th consecutive defeat at the hands of the New York Giants in Week 12. It was another disappointing result for the Browns who have now lost 15 in a row since last season. They are 3-30 since ending the 2014 season with five consecutive defeats.
So what’s ailing the winless Browns nowadays? Sad to say but they have struggled mightily on both sides of the ball this season. Cleveland is 31st in NFL in scoring defense (29.3 PPG) and total defense (400.0 YPG) this year. They’re just as abysmal on the offensive end, averaging a measly 16.2 points (second-worst in the NFL) and 313.8 yards (fourth-worst) per game this campaign. The Browns’ point differential of minus-155 is the worst in the league.
It won’t get any easier for them this coming Sunday as standing in their way are the Cincinnati Bengals. The Browns have lost each of their last four games against the Bengals, with Cleveland losing by an average margin of 24.8 points. For the Browns to record a major shock against the Bengals, they will need to get a huge performance from Cody Kessler. He has the highest passer rating (92.6) of any Browns starting quarterback since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999. Kessler’s good to go after recovering from a concussion he suffered in Week 11.
The Browns are 0-6 ATS at home this season.
Cincinnati (-6) piles more misery on Cleveland with an easy 31-17 win.
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