Expert NFL Betting Picks - Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals Player Scores While Browns Player watches

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 8:26 PM GMT

The sad-sack Browns are off to their first 0-6 start since their 1999 expansion season. Any shot they can pull off an upset victory at AFC North rival Cincinnati on Sunday? The Bengals are -9.5 on NFL odds. 

Browns What To Watch For

Take solace, Cleveland sports fans. You NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers begin their season next Tuesday. And your baseball team looks World Series-bound as of this writing. So you can go ahead and stop paying attention to the Browns, who are legitimate threats to join the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to go 0-16 in NFL history.

Cleveland is playing hard for first-year head coach Hue Jackson, the former Bengals offensive coordinator. But the talent just isn't there. In Week 6 the Browns actually had a winnable game at Tennessee but lost 28-26 -- Cleveland's third defeat this year by six points or fewer. That score was moderately misleading as the Titans led 28-13 with under three minutes left before the Browns scored two touchdowns to make things semi-interesting. But the team's second onside kick try failed.

On the bright side, rookie QB Cody Kessler, who was questionable to play, had his best game in throwing for 336 yards and two touchdowns. He wasn't picked off but was sacked six times. Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor continued his breakout season as a receiver with nine receptions for 75 yards and two scores.

Defensively, the Browns stink. They have now allowed at least two passing touchdowns in nine straight games dating to 2015. The 16 TD passes they've allowed through their first six games is their second most through six since 1970. Cleveland is No. 30 in total defense and No. 29 in scoring D (29.3 ppg).

Cleveland is 2-4 against the spread on NFL odds and 4-2 'over/under.'

 Bengals What To Watch For

I think Cincinnati (2-4) really misses Jackson as the Bengals haven't scored more than 23 points in a game this season and have been held to 17 or fewer in their four losses. They lost 35-17 at New England on Sunday. The Patriots put up 437 yards of offense and Tom Brady had only six incompletions. Andy Dalton had an OK game with 254 yards and a touchdown, while A.J. Green caught six passes for 88 yards.

The Bengals have some issues on their offensive line. First-year right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi was pulled from Sunday's loss for veteran Eric Winston after struggling, but Coach Marvin Lewis says Ogbuehi will remain the starter. Center Russell Bodine was carted off with an ankle injury and is in question. Dalton has been sacked 19 times this season and is on pace for a career-high 51.

Cincinnati might actually be a good team as its four losses are to Super Bowl contenders in the Steelers, Broncos, Cowboys and Patriots. And the division is still up for grabs as every other AFC South team lost in Week 6. Plus the division-leading Steelers just lost star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for at least a few games and are likely to be beaten again this Sunday vs. New England.

The Bengals are 2-4 ATS on NFL picks this season and 3-3 O/U. They have won three straight against their northern Ohio neighbors and absolutely dominated last season in sweeping by a combined score of 68-13.

Take the Bengals because they are giving under double digits. If the line got to 10.5, I'd take Cleveland. The Browns are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. Go 'under' the total. It is 4-0 in the past four meetings. 

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Free NFL Pick: Bengals -9.5Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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