Bengals vs. Browns Odds
The Bengals have lost their last 12 prime-time road games, with their last victory coming on Dec. 13, 2012, in Philadelphia. Dating back to the 1998 season, they are 1-22 (SU) and 5-16-2 ATS (ATS) in their last 23 prime-time road games.
Can Cincinnati turn the tide in Cleveland without the services of Ja’Marr Chase?
Bengals vs. Browns Matchup Analysis
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Bengals vs. Browns DVOA Breakdown
Not having to face Chase is a major break for a Browns defense that will once again be without cornerback Denzel Ward (concussion). The Browns’ pass rush is getting healthier, with neither Myles Garrett nor Jadeveon Clowney on injury report for the first time since Week 2.
Chase’s absence will likely force Joe Burrow to hold the ball longer on some plays and the Browns’ pass rush should be able to come home against a Bengals offensive line that has allowed 25 sacks, the second-most the NFL.
Bengals -3.5 | Browns +3.5
The Bengals passing offense will take a hit without Chase, even when Burrow is able to get the ball out. Since entering the league, Burrow is averaging 10.26 yards per attempt and a 9.7% touchdown rate when targeting Chase, compared to 7.64 yards per attempt and a 4.4 touchdown rate. % for all others.
Losing Chase also makes it harder for other Bengals receivers. Here are the numbers for Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd with and without Chase since Burrow was drafted:
- Higgins with Chase: 9.6 targets, 6.3 receptions, 93.1 yards, 0.50 TDs
- Higgins without Chase: 7.1 targets, 4.5 receptions, 60.5 yards, 0.40 TDs
- Boyd with Chase: 7.2 targets, 5.2 receptions, 66.0 yards, 0.43 TDs
- Boyd without Chase: 7.3 targets, 5.3 receptions, 56.1 yards, 0.27 TDs
The Browns finally started to get a grip on their trailing defense against the Ravens last week, giving up just 97 yards on 33 carries to the Ravens running backs (2.94 yards per carry). The Bengals’ running game struggled for most of the season, ranking 20th in DVOA.
In fact, it’s the Bengals’ shaky rush defense that could play a bigger role in this game given the Browns are averaging 31.7 rush attempts per game, fifth-most in the NFL. The Bengals really miss inside lineman DJ Reader (IR-knee). With Reader in the Weeks 1-3 roster, the Bengals allowed a 33.8% hit rate, fifth-best in the league, according to RBSDM.com. Without a drive in weeks 4-7, that rating slipped to 45.0%, 23rd.
With Kareem Hunt on the trade block, the Bengals will likely face an even heavier than usual dose of Nick Chubb, who leads the NFL in rushing yards (740) and rushing touchdowns (8) with an average of 5.9 yards per carry.
That’s about all you can ask of the Browns situationally. At 2-5 and needing a win to salvage their season, they will be the most desperate team and play in front of a hoarse Dawg Pound. Their opponent just lost their best player on offense, struggled to stop the run on defense, and found ways to lose in those spots for the best part of more than two decades.
According to our Action Labs data, divisional road favorites who covered 70% or more of their games have only achieved 46-71-2 (39%) ATS since 2005, failing to cover by 1.75 points. per game.
The Browns have also had some bad luck this season, which tends to build value. According to our Action Network Luck rankings, the Browns rank 30th in luck while the Bengals rank 17th, a gap of 13 places. A odds differential of 10 or more places this season yielded an ATS record of 25-14 (64%).
Quick Slip: Browns +3.5 | Bet at +3
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