Will the Browns win a game?
Last Thursday we were welcomed to this NFL season with a battle of two the best QBs in the NFL with the Chiefs Patrick Mahomes vs the Texans Deshaun Watson. This week well we get the Browns vs Bengals...
This could be one of the few times the Browns are favoured this season.
If it was not for Randy Bullock having two "strained calves" the Bengals should have forced OT and could possibly be 1-0 right now. Joe Burrow other than one bad interception looked like the starting QB the Bengals drafted him to be. It is hard to judge how well the Bengals defense is as the Chargers Tyrod Taylor was not good but the defense did allow a 4.7 yards-per-carry.
Let's take what we can from the Ravens beat down of the Browns in week 1. Baker Mayfield's sophomore slump is not over yet, the o-line looks improved after the offseason moves, and both running backs are still really good. It's hard to judge the defense will three CB's being injured but the linebacker play was not good and will be a problem all year long.
Both teams will be dealing with big injuries on defense.
The Browns secondary is missing 2 of their top three CB in this game and it will be up to Joe Burrow to take advantage of it. Burrow had trouble hitting receivers downfield last game and will need to fix that today if the Bengals are going to upset the Browns.
The Bengals defense will also be missing some big pieces as their two starting defensive tackles are out for tonight's game. The Bengals struggled when trying to slow down the Chargers RB's and will have an even harder time stopping the Browns tonight.
The Bengals were able to play it safe with Burrow and their offensive play calling in week one but I don't see that happening today. Baker was bad week one but the Bengals defense is nowhere as good as the Ravens. I see the Browns riding a strong run game and improved play from Baker to force the play calling for Joe Burrow to be more aggressive. Depending on what Burrow can do, I could see this being closer than the 6 point spread but the Bengals won't be able to stop Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt and the positive game script will take all the pressure of Baker Mayfield to finally connect with Odell tonight... he's still good I promise.
I don't trust Baker enough to take the spread but I am locked in taking the Browns Moneyline(-230).
If you are looking for more value take the Bengals at +6(-115).