NFL Week 4 Predictions: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns
Sunday, 9/29/13, 1:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Cincinnati -6
Current Betting Line:  Cincinnati -4
Opening Total:  41.5
Current Total:  42.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Cincinnati Bengals are 9-0 SU and 6-1-2 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 2011
The Cincinnati Bengals are 9-0 SU and 6-1-2 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 2011

Cincinnati has won back-to-back games since its season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears, including a 34-30 victory over the Green Bay Packers as three-point home underdogs last Sunday.  “We persevered through as many negative plays as I’ve seen in a game in my life,” commented Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.  The Bengals lead this AFC North series, 42-37, but have gone 16-23 when playing in Cleveland.  Wide receiver A.J. Green has averaged 19.1 yards per reception in four career games in this series, which is important to consider when making your NFL betting picks in Week 4.  Cincinnati is 9-0 SU and 6-1-2 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 2011.

The Bengals rank second in the league in offensive touchdown percentage in the red zone, as they’ve reached pay dirt on six of seven opportunities.  Cincinnati’s offense has been led by the play of third-year quarterback Andy Dalton, who is second in the AFC and fourth in the NFL for the season in fourth-quarter passer rating.  Since joining the franchise, Dalton has thrown 37 touchdowns and no interceptions on snaps insie the 20-yard line.

Cleveland is squarely focused on Sunday’s division game against Cincinnati, as it picked up a 31-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings as seven-point road underdogs in Week 3.  The Browns will need to be on the top of their game offensively, as they prepare to take on a defensive unit that has registered six sacks and allowed just 1,000 yards of total offense in three contests.  “They have an excellent scheme,” commented Browns first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski.  Quarterback Brian Hoyer threw for a career-best 321 yards last week, as he moved up from third string on the team’s depth chart.  Cleveland is 2-11 SU and 7-5-1 ATS versus division opponents the last two-plus seasons.

The Browns have been getting the job done defensively against the run, as they held the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens to only 119 yards in the first two weeks, while holding Vikings star Adrian Peterson to 88 yards on 25 carries.  Cleveland will place cornerback Joe Haden on Green, which will provide one of the best matchups in the league this week.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 9-3 in the Bengals’ last 12 games.

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