In a The Producers-meets-NFL wagering twist, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns seem intent on throwing their respective seasons in a bid to vie for the 2018 NFL Draft No. 1 pick. Barring a draw, however, one or the other is, whether they like it or not, bound to pick up their first W of 2017. And who, if one thinks about it, could each beat, if not the other?
- Date: Sunday, 1st October
- Time: 1:05 PM
- Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium
Sportsbook Online NFL Betting Odds:
Bengals -3 (-122) 41½ (-115) -168
Browns +3 (+102) 41½ (-105) +146
Focused like a Lazor beam
For the Bengals, becoming the first team since before WWII to open the season without a scoring a touchdown in two home games, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Offensive coordinator Ken Zampese got the sack and up-until-then quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor was promoted to OC. The Bengals immediately improved. They, mind you, were still no good, but at the very least were, you know, better. QB Andy Dalton, went, for instance, from one of the worst performances in recorded history – like, in general, not just NFL history – to two TD passes in Cincy’s 27-24 overtime loss to the Packers on Sunday. Head coach Marvin Lewis hopes they can carry the momentum, or, as he, per Fox Sports, put it, “We have to get our butts going right now, right away. This is an important football game. We’ve got to get things turned around. Both teams want to win this football game.” the timing couldn’t be more perfect; the Bengals are 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five games against the Browns and 9-2 SU and 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games following back-to-back losses. Cleveland is, if that wasn’t enough, 2-9-1 against the NFL wagering spread in their last 12 games in the early afternoon. See? Timing.
Did we say the timing is perfect? Sorry, we meant ‘Burfict’
The Bengals offense is on the rise, while the defense is getting an upgraded in the form of middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who has served yet another suspension and is ready to help his team finally win. And the Browns know it. “He is their spark. He is their energy. He is definitely one of their key guys on that side,” Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer via the team’s official website. “Every week, it is our job to stop their key players. He is definitely a guy to be eyeing.” This is bad news for a Cleveland team that has struggled with turnovers and has no running game to speak of. The Browns defense, additionally, keeps getting itself in a jam, though it might get a boost of its own, if No. 1 overall pick defensive end Myles Garrett is healthy enough to make his professional debut.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 28, 2017
Jackson on potential Garrett return: "That would be a jolt for our football team."
— Andrew Gribble (@Andrew_Gribble) September 28, 2017
Cincy’s offense has, all things considered, still a long way to go, but they’re certainly closer to where they want to be than that of Cleveland’s, so the Bengals should be able to win and cover, but the NFL wagering total will likely remain under.