Play the Under in Bengals vs. Browns

Bengals vs. Browns, 8:15 ET

Monday Night Football is the king of the primetime games. Thursday Night is almost always a dud of a game, though we got a pretty nice one (and a win on our play) this past week. I don’t know that this is going to be an exciting matchup as one of the stars is out, but it is possible that this game is competitive.

I mentioned one star being out, and that would be Jamarr Chase, quarterback Joe Burrow’s favorite target. That doesn’t mean that the Bengals passing attack will be completely ruined or anything. It actually just means that Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins just need to step up even more. Both of them have 455 yards and Chase has 605 so it isn’t a ridiculous gap, but obviously noticeable. Burrow does a nice job of spreading the ball around a bit, but this will make the offense look different moving forward. The Bengals started with a Super Bowl hangover, but they didn’t win the Super Bowl, so it made it look even more like a fluke that they even made the game. Still, they’ve won four of their past five games and their one loss was to the Ravens – a good team. Now that the offense needs a minute to regroup, will their defense be able to get some stops and help control the game? I think it gets a nice opportunity to do so against a struggling Browns team.

The Browns might be on the verge of having to wait until next year pretty soon. The whole purpose of Jacoby Brissett was to keep the Browns afloat until they could get Deshaun Watson to be under center. That’s still a few weeks away from happening and they are just 2-5. They’ve certainly had their opportunity to win some of the games, it just didn’t happen for a number of reasons. Brissett has done what you’d hope a backup to do, but there is an issue with him finishing off drives – he has just six touchdown passes on the season and has five interceptions. I also feel like they aren’t using their two-headed running game of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt as effectively as they did last year. Chubb is still chewing up yardage but has almost double the carries Hunt does. There are a number of injuries that have me paying attention to the report – Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward are two I’m focused in on. If neither of them play, it will be bad quickly for the Browns.

To me, this game goes under the 45 total. The Bengals could look great without Chase, but I think it might take a bit to adjust and execute the game plan. For the Browns, they just aren’t that good offensively. Two teams in the same division that see each other often as well. I think the best play here is to go under 45. Happy Halloween.

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Written by David Troy

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