Here’s our matchup preview, followed by trends and our prediction, where we’ll tell you how to bet on this one.
Baker Mayfield and the Browns haven’t had the season many expected them to have. Mayfield has thrown for 3,548 yards, 19 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, and he leads an offense that despite having massive weapons at wideout (Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are the team’s one and two receivers) ranked in the lower-half of the league in receiving yards. Both Landry and Beckham are listed as questionable for the game, so Mayfield could rely on running back Nick Chubb more than usual –which would be advisable against this Cincinnati defense.
The Bengals have the worst rushing defense in the league, allowing 153.9 yards a game. Cincinnati intercepted Mayfield twice when they played each other earlier this season, but Cleveland still won, 27-19. The Browns have missed the playoffs for the 17th straight season, and they would like to finish the season strong, but this game will be one they shouldn’t overlook.
Cincinnati have lost three straight after winning their lone game of the season against the New York Jets. This will likely be veteran quarterback Andy Dalton’s final game in a Bengals uniform, so he and his teammates will likely make a push to help him end his time with the team on a high note. He will need help, and he could get some in the form of Joe Mixon.
Mixon ran for 146 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland when these two teams last met earlier in December, and if he can get going again, the Bengals have a chance to win this game. Cincinnati has already secured the top spot in the 2020 NFL draft, so they’ll have the worst record in the league, win or lose. They will likely want to give their home crowd a good show in their season finale.
Game Info, Betting Trends, Odds and Pick
*NOTE: all numbers and percentages that follow are courtesy of Odds Shark.
Time: Sunday, December 29 at 1p.m. ET
Location: Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati
Spread: Bengals +3
Over/Under: 43 points
Odds Shark currently have the Bengals winning the game by a projected score of 25-21, with Cincinnati covering the spread and the total score going over 43 points.
Some trends relating to both teams to consider:
- Cleveland is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games against Cincinnati.
- The Browns are 3-7 SU in their last 10 games against Cincinnati.
- Cleveland is 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games on the road.
- The Browns are 3-12 SU in their last 15 games when playing on the road against Cincinnati.
- Cincinnati is 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games.
- The Bengals are 1-16 SU in their last 17 games.
- Cincinnati is 1-6 SU in their last 7 games at home.
- The Bengals are 12-3 SU in their last 15 games when playing at home against Cleveland.
This feels like a game Andy Dalton wins. This Cleveland defense is strong, but they have not been the same without Myles Garrett, and Joe Mixon needs just 25 yards to hit the 1,000 mark. Look for Cincinnati to pull it out in a game that also sees the point total going over.
Final Prediction: Bengals 31, Browns 21
READ NEXT: Bears vs Vikings Week 17: Predictions & Pick