Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
Thursday, November 5, 2015, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: NFL Network
Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, Ohio
Opening Line: Cincinnati -10 1/2
Current Line: Cincinnati -10 1/2
Opening Total: 47 1/2
Current Total: 46
Opening Money Line: Bengals -575 / Browns +435
Current Money Line: Bengals -600 / Browns +450
The 7-0 Cincinnati Bengals are one of an unprecedented four undefeated teams left as we enter week nine of the NFL season. The Bengals host their in-state rivals the 2-6 Cleveland Browns Thursday night. Cincinnati is in first place in the AFC North and Cleveland is tied for last with the Baltimore Ravens. The Pittsburgh Steelers are 4-4.
Cincinnati leads the series 44-39 against Cleveland. The teams have split the season series the last three years. Last year, the road team won both games easily. The Browns won in Cincinnati 24-3 and the Bengals won 30-0 in Cleveland. The teams meet in Cleveland December 6.
Cleveland is coached by Mike Pettine. The Browns have a home win over the Tennessee Titans 28-14 and at the Ravens 33-30 in overtime. Cleveland has lost 3 straight games. The Browns have road losses at the New York Jets 31-10, San Diego Chargers 30-27, and St. Louis Rams 24-6, along with home losses to the Oakland Raiders 27-20, Denver Broncos 26-23 in overtime, and last week against the Arizona Cardinals 34-20.
Cleveland was a 7 point underdog against Arizona and the total was 46. Cleveland led 20-7 in the second quarter, but Arizona would score the last 27 points of the game. The Cardinals had 491 total yards to just 254 for the Browns. However, the two teams combined for six turnovers including four by the Cardinals. Clevleand is 4-4 ATS and the total is 7-1 this season.
Cincinnati is coached by Marvin Lewis. The Bengals have home wins over the Chargers 24-19, Kansas City Chiefs 36-21, Seattle Seahawks 27-24 in overtime, plus road wins at the Raiders 33-13, Ravens 28-24, Buffalo Bills 34-21, and Steelers 16-10 last week.
Cincinnati was a pick against Pittsburgh and the total was 49. The Steelers led 10-6 going into the fourth quarter, but the Bengals scored 10 points in the last 3 minutes of the game to remain undefeated. After a Cincinnati touchdown gave them a 13-10 lead, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception in his own territory. Cincinnati would kick a field goal to take a six point lead. Pittsburgh took over at their own 20 with 1:47 left, and drove down to the Cincinnati 16 but could not score before time ran out. The teams combined for five turnovers, including three by the Steelers. Cincinnati is 6-0-1 ATS and the total is 5-2 this season.
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Cleveland is being outscored 27-21 this season. The Browns are #25 in scoring and #26 in points allowed. Cleveland averages 350 yards per game on offense including 266 passing and 84 rushing yards. The Browns are #9 in passing but #31 in rushing. On defense, Cleveland allows 405 yards per game including 258 passing and 147 rushing yards. The Browns are #30 in total defense and last in rush defense. Cleveland is 56/125 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 49/115. The Browns have allowed 27 sacks and forced 13 this season. Cleveland is -4 in turnovers. The Browns have two defensive/special teams touchdowns and have allowed two defensive touchdowns.
Quarterback Josh McCown is out with shoulder and ribs injuries. He played against Arizona last week. McCown has completed 65% of his passes for 1,897 yards with 11 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, plus 18 carries for 86 yards and a rushing touchdown. Back-up Johnny Manziel started against the Titans and did well. He has thrown for 393 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception, and has 10 carries for 42 rushing yards. He will start Thursday. Former Bills quarterback Thaddeus Lewis could see some action. Connor Shaw is out for the season with a broken thumb.
Running back Isaiah Crowell has 91 carries for 295 yards and a touchdown, plus 10 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown. Duke Johnson has 56 carries for 179 yards, along with 33 catches for 331 yards and a touchdown. Robert Turbin will also get some carries.
Receiver Travis Benjamin has 38 catches for 601 yards and four touchdowns. Tight end Gary Barnidge has 40 catches for 567 yards and 6 touchdowns. Andrew Hawkins has 20 catches for 207 yards. He is questionable with a concussion. Taylor Gabriel has 23 catches for 194 yards. Brian Hartline has 16 catches for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable with a concussion. Tight end Rob Housler is questionable with a hamstring injury. Six defensive players are on the injury report.
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Cincinnati is outscoring teams 28-19 this season. The Bengals are #3 in scoring and #7 in points allowed. Cincinnati averages 394 yards per game on offense including 278 passing and 116 rushing yards. The Bengals are in the top 7 in total and passing offense. Cincinnati is allowing 369 yards per game including 258 passing and 110 rushing yards. The Bengals are #22 in total defense and #23 in pass defense. Cincinnati is 41/93 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 39/100. The Bengals have forced 20 sacks and have allowed nine. Cincinnati is +4 in turnovers. The Bengals have allowed 2 defensive touchdowns.
Quarterback Andy Dalton has completed 66.2% of his passes for 1,992 yards with 15 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, and also has 57 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Giovani Bernard has 78 carries for 439 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 20 catches for 141 yards. Jeremy Hill has 89 carries for 292 yards with 5 touchdowns, along with 4 catches and a touchdown.
Receiver A.J. Green has 46 catches for 469 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Tyler Eifert has 32 catches for 381 yards and 6 touchdowns. Marvin Jones has 26 catches for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mohamed Sanu has 18 catches for 270 yards. Receiver James Wright is out for the season with a knee injury. Three defensive players and two offensive tackles are listed on the injury report.
Cleveland is 5-0 ATS in Thursday games, 5-1-1 against AFC North teams, 4-1 against AFC teams, and on fieldturf, 7-2 after an ATS loss, 18-7-1 after accumulating less than 90 rushing yards, 9-4-1 after a straight up loss, 4-9 after a double digit home loss, and 2-6 in November. The underdog is 13-2-1 ATS in this series recently.
Cincinnati is 6-0-1 ATS after a straight up win and overall, 6-0 against AFC teams, 5-0-1 after a cover, 4-0 after rushing for less than 90 yards, 3-0-1 on fieldturf, 6-1-2 against teams with losing road records, 4-1-1 against teams with losing records, 15-4-2 at home, 7-3-1 in November, 16-7 after allowing less than 15 points, 20-9-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 1-3-1 in week nine, and 1-4 in Thursday games.
Even as banged up as the Browns are, this seems like a lot of points to lay in a rivalry game. Clearly, the Bengals are the better team, but after a hard fought victory in Pittsburgh I can see the Bengals winning by a touchdown or so.