Cincinnati turned off a lot of handicappers after their pathetic effort in a 38-24 loss at New England on opening day in which they were blown out of the game in the first half. They have responded with impressive wins over Baltimore and then last week at Carolina by a score of 20-7 as 3 point road favorites to improve to 2-1 both straight up and against the spread. Cincinnati has gone under the total in 2 games this year. The Bengals defense has shown marked improvement since being lit up by the Patriots as it now ranks 10th in the NFL.
Offensive Start for Offense
The Bengal offense ranks in the middle of the pack and has not been spectacular. The running game has struggled as Cedric Benson is averaging only 3.1 yards per carry despite having a team leading 202 yards. Carson Palmer is averaging just 5.8 yards per pass attempt despite the diva corps of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens to throw to. Palmer has not been much of a NFL betting asset with is 71.3 QB rating and 3/3 touchdown to interception ratio.
Cleveland is coming off a 24-17 loss at Baltimore as they did get the NFL betting online payout as 12 point road dogs. The Browns are now 0-3 straight up and 1-2 against the spread and have gone under the total in 2 out of 3 games. Jake Delhomme has missed the last 2 games at quarterback and the Browns rank 27th in the NFL for scoring. One bright spot has been the ground attack as Peyton Hillis is averaging 5.6 yards per carry with 3 touchdowns. At the end of the day, however, it looks like the same old Browns.
While the Browns are down it would be a NFL betting mistake to count them out in this rivalry matchup as they got the money in both meetings with Cincinnati last year. The series has gone under the total in 4 out of the last 5 meetings.