Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns: AFC North Preview and Betting Predictions

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Sunday, 10/14/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Cincinnati -3
Current Betting Line:  Cincinnati -2
Opening Total:  45
Current Total:  44
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Cincinnati Bengals have won four straight meetings with the Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati had its three-game win streak snapped in a 17-13 setback to the Miami Dolphins as three-point home favorites last week, while going UNDER the total for the second consecutive contest.  “We’ve got to score more than 13 points,” stated Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.  The Bengals are in second place in the AFC North Division, a single game back of the Baltimore Ravens.  In the first three games, the offense averaged 416.7 yards per game and 34.7 points, but that has fallen off to 255.0 and 13.5 points in those categories the past two weeks.  Cincinnati is 3-1 ATS as a road favorite over the last two-plus years.

The Bengals earned a 34-27 win over the Browns as seven-point home favorites on Sept. 16, but they lost the statistical battle by a 64-yard margin.  Cincinnati will attempt to pick up the season sweep and win its fifth consecutive game in this divisional series.  The last victory gave the franchise its biggest lead in the rivalry, going 42-36 over a 43-year period.  Quarterback Andy Dalton has performed well in three games against Sunday’s opponent, completing 71.4 percent of his passes for 669 yards and five touchdowns with a single interception.

Cleveland returns home for its first game in front of its fans since September 23, as the team still searches for its first win.  The Browns are off to their worst start since opening 0-7 in 1999, as the roster underwent some significant changes in the offseason, especially on the offensive side of the ball.  Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for a season-high 332 yards against the Bengals last month, but he’s also tied for the league-lead with nine interceptions.  Cleveland is 8-4 ATS when revenging a loss against an opponent.

The Browns have been out-gained by a triple-digit yardage margin in their last three games, including a 41-27 loss to the New York Giants as 7.5-point road underdogs in Week 5.  Cleveland first-year running back Trent Richardson did manage to gain 81 yards on the ground, as he’s managed to record a rushing touchdown in four straight games.  On the defensive side of the ball, the unit has forced 10 turnovers on the year, while ranking fifth in the league in interceptions.  Star cornerback Joe Haden is expected back in the lineup after serving a four-game suspension.

Sports bettors will likely back the Browns due to the underdog going 9-1-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings, while the Bengals are 0-4-3 ATS following a SU loss.

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