The AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals will tune up for the postseason by visiting the rival Cleveland Browns. Cincinnati clinched the title in style with a wild 34-31 victory over Kansas City last week.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is expected to sit out to rest while running back Joe Mixon was ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield also may not play, which will affect the Las Vegas odds.
- Game: Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) at Cleveland Browns (7-9)
- Location: FirstEnergy Stadium
- Day/Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
- Television: FOX
Bengals vs Browns: Betting Guide
Cleveland was a two-point underdog when it rocked Cincinnati 41-16 in Week 9 behind Nick Chubb’s 135 yards and two touchdowns. It was the Browns’ third victory in a row over the Bengals, all as a dog. The underdog has delivered in four straight games in the series against the spread. The over when betting online has prevailed in five straight meetings after the 47½ total was exceeded in November. Cincinnati is 11-3 ATS in the last 14 meetings.
Next game: Playoffs TBA
Cincinnati was a 3½-point underdog when it took down red-hot Kansas City 34-31 to win the division title at a big price. Bengals wide receiver JaMarr Chase had an NFL rookie-record 266 receiving yards, which were also the most in franchise history. The over 51 cashed on Chase’s third touchdown of the game – a 69-yarder 1 minute, 30 seconds into third quarter, cutting the Chiefs’ lead to 28-24. Cincinnati went ahead 31-28 early in the fourth quarter before Kansas City tied it with 6:01 remaining. The Bengals risked giving the ball back to the Chiefs at the Kansas City 1-yard line with 50 seconds to play in a tie game, but a penalty against the Chiefs on fourth down gave Cincinnati a fresh set. Evan McPherson kicked a 20-yard field goal as time expired.
There are no major injuries to report pertaining to this game.
Next game: 2022 Week 1
Cleveland could not spoil what was likely Ben Roethlisberger’s final game in Pittsburgh in an uninspiring 26-14 loss to the Steelers as a one-point underdog in the NFL point spreads. The Browns were listless from the start, trailing 13-0 before Mayfield connected with tight end David Njoku for a 3-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the third quarter. Cleveland cut the deficit to 19-14 with 1:10 left, but could not recover an onside kick. Under players were safe with the 43½ total despite Pittsburgh scoring a TD with 51 seconds to go.
Mayfield said he will undergo shoulder surgery and may not play against the Bengals. He was sacked nine times and intercepted twice by the Steelers. Mayfield is also dealing with knee and foot issues. Safeties Johnny Johnson (hamstring) and Ronnie Harrison Jr. (ankle), and cornerback Troy Hill (unspecified) did not play against Pittsburgh. Running back Kareem Hunt (ankle) has missed the last three games.
Betting on the Game
The Bengals are in the playoffs for the first time since 2015 after their emotional victory over the Chiefs and could be in for a letdown in this spot. Cincinnati’s interest would certainly grow if Kansas City loses at Denver on Saturday, as the No. 2 seed and two home playoff games would be within reach.
However, the absence of Burrow and Mixon changes the outlook for the the Bengals, who can also be seeded fourth with a loss, coupled with a Buffalo win over the New York Jets. That could be the place to be as a potential second-round game at No. 1 Tennessee seems more appealing than a road rematch with Kansas City.
The forecast screams under with light rain, wind and temperatures in the 40s. The over, though, is 7-0-1 in the last eight meetings. In less intense games, sometimes it’s the defenses that give way first. The Browns are 2-13-1 ATS in their last 16 at home against a team with a winning road record. Cincinnati is 5-2 away.
This will be one of the toughest NFL predictions to make in what is essentially a meaningless game.