Week 8; Monday Night Football; #RuleTheJungle @ #Browns

After getting off to a predictably slow (but still fairly dramatic) start in the London game, the NFL came to life in the 5pm kick-offs last night. We had the Dolphins and Lions trading blows, the Cowboys almost putting up 50 on the Bears and the Panthers kicker twice missing a chance to beat the Falcons in the fourth quarter and overtime (no thanks to DJ Moore). Fingers crossed for more high scoring and drama tonight. 

Cincinnati Bengals -3.5 @ Cleveland Browns: 45

These two teams are a perfect examples of why we shouldn’t jump to too many conclusions after the first few games of the season. After Week 3 the Browns were 2-1 and were it not for a last minute collapse against the Jets, would have been 3-0. Meanwhile, the Bengals started the season 0-2 and looked like they could not keep Joe Burrow upright. The Browns have since lost four in a row and the Bengals have turned it around to get to 4-3. 

This is still a huge game in the context of the AFC North though, the Bengals will want to keep in touch with the 5-3 Ravens and a win for the Browns will see them just two games back from the top of the division. 


After a slow start to the season the Bengals offense has taken off in recent weeks with Zac Taylor finally taking the shackles off Joe Burrow. Over the last two weeks he has eight total touchdowns and over 800 combined yards. I think this is what we all wanted to see from this offense but with Ja’Marr Chase out for a few weeks it will be interesting to see if this new philosophy changes at all. 

I think Burrow goes over his line of 266.5 yards tonight but I am avoiding as it’s his first game without Chase. Tee Higgins should take the lead role and while I like him to hit his over (75.5) I think I prefer him to score a first half touchdown (19/10 with Bet365). Tyler Boyd has had a sneaky good season so far, averaging 65 yards a game. His line tonight is just below that mark at 62.5. 

Another bet I like on the Bengals offense tonight is Hayden Hurst under 38.5 yards. There is a good chance Hurst has a solid workload with Chase missing this game but the Browns kept Mark Andrews catch-less last week and I think it will be Boyd and Higgins sharing the extra targets vacated by Chase. 

Joe Mixon has been pretty inefficient on the ground for the Bengals, going at just 3.3 yards per carry. But he has a good chance to improve on that tonight against a Browns defense allowing over 160 rushing yards per game the last three weeks. 

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar


Just two of the Browns games this season have been decided by more than a field goal and they could quite easily be going into this game at 5-2 instead of 2-5. Their offense has been just about as good as it could be with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback but the defense ranks 30th in the league in points allowed which is a concern given some of the teams they have come up against. 

Brissett is probably outperforming a fair few full time starters this season but has shown that he is nothing more than a solid backup at the NFL level. The passing offense has been a little too inconsistent to back any props with confidence tonight but with David Njoku missing this game, a Harrison Bryant touchdown at 7/2 might be worth a shout.

Nick Chubb is clearly the best player on the offense and he has been as dominant as ever this season. It looks like Kareem Hunt is on the trade block and so he has been seeing very little work over the last couple of games. Chubb to score a touchdown is always a solid bet but I think I will be looking at combining Chubb to go over 83.5 yards and Hunt to go under 36.5 which is 5/2 as a bet builder.  

Who wins? 

It feels like this should be a Bengals win but the Browns have won seven of the last eight matchups between these two, including four in a row. So it feels like a bit of a trap but I am still leaning the Bengals and for them to cover the spread as they have done in their last five games. That record against the Browns combined with Chase being out means I am not all that confident though. 

Aside from a dead rubber at the end of last year, the totals tend to go over between these two so I think over 45 points tonight looks good. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑