Once the regular season is over, its always fun to look back at the predictions we made prior to the start of the season and compare them with how things actually played out. There are always some things that did not go as expected, usually because we have some favorites underperform at the same time when dark horses emerge and take a run at the playoffs. I would imagine that not very many people correctly predicted how the AFC North would play out. The expectation was that the Ravens and Browns would duke it out for top spot, but as we head into the final week of the season, it is the Cincinnati Bengals who have been crowned as champions. They will close things out with a visit to Cleveland, going in as a 6-point underdog, with the point total set at 38. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at both teams and how they arrive at this Bengals vs Browns matchup so you can place your bets against their NFL odds.
NFL Betting Analysis for Bengals vs Browns
How to Bet On Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns & TV Info
- When: Sunday, January 9 at 1 PM EST
- Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
- TV: FOX
- MoneyLine: Bengals +220 / Browns -270
Why bet on the Cincinnati Bengals
Earlier in the week, I predicted that the Bengals would go on the road and come away with the win, but I might be forced to rethink that with the news that Joe Burrow will be given the week off in preparation for the playoffs. It is a rest that has been well earned, especially over the last couple of weeks, where Burrow has thrown 9 TD passed and racked up close to 1,000 yards through the air. This is a kid that looks set to become an elite NFL QB for quite some time. While the Bengals are 5-1 SU in their last 6 conference games, they are just 1-6 SU in their last 7 versus the Browns. Where the Bengals have been good versus the Browns is against the spread, covering in 6 of the last 7 in Cleveland. They are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 overall versus the Browns. The OVER has hit in 7 of their last 10 games.
Why bet on the Cleveland Browns
In a season filled with promise and a high level of expectation, the Browns have floundered badly, finding themselves at the bottom of the AFC North and out of the postseason. They will not have Baker Mayfield under center this weekend, as he will be heading for shoulder surgery. What remains to be seen is whether the Browns decide to extend his contract or head in a new direction this offseason. The Browns come into this one on a 3-game losing skid and are now guaranteed a losing season, something that few people saw coming given the talent they have on their roster. The Browns have gone 2-6 SU in their last 8 games played in the month of January and are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The OVER has hit in each of the last 5 meetings between these two.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
With both starting quarterbacks out of this game, picking the final outcome has become a good deal trickier. I went with the Bengals before that decision was made, so I am going to stick with it. At the very least, I would take them to cover.
NFL Week 18 Betting Pick: Cincinnati Bengals 23 Cleveland Browns 20
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