Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals (12/11/22): Betting Odds, Prediction, Depth Chart

It took me up until this point of the season, but I am finally ready to admit that the Bengals pose as a serious Super Bowl contender. After proving to have the offense to match the Chiefs and a defense capable of slowing down an elite defense to maintain scoring pace, the Bengals can compete with anyone. Next on their schedule? Deshaun Watson and the Browns.

Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals Betting Odds

Will the Bengals be able to continue their momentum and take care of the Browns? Oddsmakers slightly favor them, opening the Bengals at -3.5. Bettors on the other hand have more confidence in Burrow and company, taking them up to the current number of -6. Even with a win last week, the Browns were nearly outplayed by the Texans and needed two non-offensive touchdowns just to cover.

As for the total, oddsmakers set the total at 48 with bettors taking this down to as low as 47 as of writing. This leans heavily towards the Browns offensive production woes they displayed in their last game with Deshaun Watson’s return. He showed serious rust under center in his return from two years away from football, a theme we may continue to see this week.

Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals Prediction

The Pick: CIN -6

Even with strong movement towards the Bengals spread, I still like the current number for a half unit wager. They benefit with the Browns scrambling to find an offensive identity while theirs is firing on all cylinders. The Bengals will potentially set the scoring pace too high for the run heavy Browns offense to keep up with while Watson shakes off the rust under center.

The Browns offense isn’t too shabby themselves per DVOA rankings, ranking seventh in Pass DVOA and fourth in Rush DVOA. With Watson back, they have serious deep playoff run potential. Until he proves he can round back into form, the Browns have serious offensive issues that are easy for the Bengals to scheme against.

Assuming they go conservative with Watson and bring in a run-heavy script, the Bengals have the defensive rush capabilities to limit the damage. The Bengals currently rank slightly above average in Def Rush DVOA, sitting at 15th in the league.

As for the offense, there is little reason to believe Burrow will not build his case for an MVP against this horrifically bad unit. The Browns rank 29th in Overall Def DVOA with a second level incapable of covering every weapon on the Bengals offense.

When he’s not in his own way, Joe Burrow is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. When protected he is giving free reign to let it fly for the likes of Chase and Higgins to make the play. With Myles Garrett not 100% the Browns pass rush has been limited, giving Burrow a clean pocket.

Betting Trends

  • Bengals are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games
  • Bengals are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games following a SU win

Key Injuries

Cleveland Browns Injuries: David Njoku (Q)

Cincinnati Bengals Injuries: Joe Mixon (P), Logan Wilson (Q)

Key Matchups

Can the Bengals rush defense limit the rushing production of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt?

Bengals rush defense vs Browns ground game

While the Bengals will be able to score at will against the Browns poor defense, it’s their ability to stop the opposing run game that will decide a large part of the outcome of the spread. The Browns field the best running back duo in football in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, two backs that are more than capable of being a three down back for any other football team. 

With the Bengals fielding an average rush defense rating, it will be vitally important to set the tone early and force the Browns into passing situations where they can take advantage of Watson’s throwing woes.

Verdict

The Bengals simply have too much firepower for the Browns to keep up with until Deshaun Watson is back into form. Take the Bengals at no higher than -6.5.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart

QB: Deshaun Watson
RB1: Nick Chubb
RB2: Kareem Hunt
LWR: Donovan Peoples-Jones
RWR: Amari Cooper
SWR: David Bell
TE1: Harrison Bryant

Cincinnati Bengals Depth Chart

QB: Joe Burrow
RB1: Samaje Perine
RB2: Chris Evans
LWR: Jamarr Chase
RWR: Tee Higgins
SWR: Tyler Boyd
TE1: Hayden Hurst

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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