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Some sports betting players picked Cincinnati to win the AFC North and possibly the conference title, but they’re off to a sluggish start, particularly offensively as they head to Cleveland for a meeting with the Browns, who are losing close games left and right this season. The offense will still struggle, but the Bengals will pull out the win.

  • What: NFL betting
  • When: Sunday, October 3rd, 1:00 PM ET
  • Where: Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH
  • Pick: Browns +3

What’s On The Line

The Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) had another disjointed performance in a 20-7 win versus the Carolina Panthers, overcoming a number of penalties and an inept passing offense. The Cleveland Browns (0-3), for the third straight game, lost a lead late in a 24-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and they’re going to have to learn to put teams away to get out of the AFC North basement. It’s a divisional rivalry, and a state rivalry as bragging rights are on the line in the Buckeye State, so there’s a lot at stake.

Offensive Matchups: Bengals Browns Betting

Cincinnati is 15th in the league offensively, but they have to figure out what’s wrong with Carson Palmer, who is 22nd in the NFL in passer rating. Palmer was 19-of-37 for 195 yards, a touchdown and two picks. He’s 26th in accuracy, which is something that Palmer prided himself on coming out of USC as a Heisman winner. It’s repetitive to say, but he hasn’t been the same since the knee injury against Pittsburgh a couple of years ago, and with the weapons at his disposal, Palmer really should be better.

Seneca Wallace took over for the injured Jake Delhomme against the Ravens, and he was 18-of-24 for 141 yards and a touchdown, which isn’t bad against a team like Baltimore, especially on the road. Peyton Hillis ran for 144 yards and a touchdown as well, and that’s no small feat against the Ravens. Now, can they be consistent?

Betting Edge: Bengals

Defensive Matchups: Bengals Browns Betting

The Bengals’ defense has hunkered down since they were lit up in New England in Week 1, and they held the Panthers to 267 yards. There are a couple of injuries on this side of the ball for Cincinnati, but they got a solid performance from linebacker Rey Maualuga, who had six tackles. The Bengals also stopped the Panthers on nine of 11 third-down chances, and any NFL betting player will tell you that a team has a better shot of winning if they stop the other team from moving the chains.

The Browns’ defense isn’t even that bad, coming in 16th in the NFL, but they stopped the Ravens only half the time on 12 third-down chances, and Baltimore converted both of their red-zone opportunities. Eric Barton led the way with nine tackles, but the Browns couldn’t really contain Ray Rice, and Anquan Boldin racked up 142 receiving yards. The Browns have to be good defensively, because they’re not going to be mistaken for the 2007 New England Patriots on the other side of the ball.

Betting Edge: Draw

Notable Injuries: Bengals Browns Betting

Ends Antawn Odom (wrist) and Jonathan Fanene (hamstring) likely won’t play, but the Bengals should have cornerback “Pacman” Jones (shoulder) back in the lineup.

Defensive lineman Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip) didn’t practice and will be a game-time decision. Running backs Jerome Harrison (thigh) and Lawrence Vickers (groin) also have problems, while tackle John St. Clair (ankle) is also a question mark for the Browns.

Betting Edge: Draw

Outlook and Pick: Bengals Browns Betting

NFL betting odds have the Bengals as 3-point favorites on the road, and they’ve won six of their last 10 in Cleveland while going a respectable 5-5 ATS. We’re going to give the nod to the Bengals once again as the Cleveland offense is far too inconsistent to be counted on. The Bengals have had their offensive troubles, but at least they have the talent to turn it around. It’s not going to be a high-scoring game, but we’re predicting a win for the Bengals in your online betting book.

SA Pick: Cleveland Browns -3

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