After a monster opening week to NFL season, Week 2 is here and we've got Bengals vs. Browns picks for a Thursday Night Football matchup between AFC North rivals!
As expected, the first week of the NFL season meant a flood of action at online sports betting sites in PA, NJ, and other states where betting is legal. And on Thursday nights where the sports landscape is a bit quieter, the only NFL game on television is certainly going to be a popular bet.
Here are some Bengals-Browns betting notes:
- Cleveland and Cincinnati split their two meetings in 2019 with both teams going 1-1 against the spread
- Both 2019 matchups between the Browns and Bengals went over the total
- In four career games against the Bengals, Browns QB Baker Mayfield has ten passing touchdowns and a 3-1 overall record
Without any further delay, let's get to our Week 2 Thursday Night Football picks!
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Week 2 TNF Betting Picks | Browns vs. Bengals Predictions
Cleveland will play its first home game of the season as it welcomes Cincinnati to FirstEnergy Stadium on September 17th at 8:20 PM EST for the first prime time divisional game of the year. The Browns enter as 7.5-point favorites with the total set at 46 points at DraftKings Sportsbook.
At this point in the season, there isn't much data for us to use when making picks. But the good news is that even though we are still guessing in Week 2, so are the oddsmakers. So which team is the right TNF prediction?
Thursday Night Football Picks | Bengals vs. Browns Predictions For AFC North Battle
For us, this one isn't all that simple since there are reasons to fade both sides and a bet on either team means taking a huge leap of faith.
The Browns are installing a new system under Kevin Stefanski but QB Baker Mayfield and his stable of weapons still have some extensive experience together and are facing one of the game's very worst defenses according to DVOA metrics.
On the other side, Cincinnati is trying to find its footing with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow in what will be his second career game. With that said, Burrow will be able to rely on stud RB Joe Mixon against one of the league's worst run defenses in Cleveland. So what do we do in this spot? Take the points.
Where the line stands now, the value sides with the underdog Bengals at +7.5 points. From a betting angle, -7.5 isn't a great number, there's no way around it. Look for Cleveland at -6.5 or -7 to cover those key numbers, but it's more likely that the public makes it even larger by the time this game kicks off. If you like Cincinnati, waiting on this play may lead to an even better line such as +8 or +8.5.
Even though there will be 6,000 fans will be in attendance for this game, which could be some kind of boost to the home team, it's hard to see the Browns blowing anyone out at this stage. The Bengals' run game is good enough to eat up chunks of yardage and the clock, keeping this one close.
Week 2 TNF Picks: Cincinnati Bengals +7.5 (-110) - Make Week 2 NFL Picks At BetMGM!
Bengals vs. Browns Over-Under Predictions | Week 2 TNF Picks
Picking a side in this one isn't all that easy, but there seems to be a direction for the total. You would think that because each team struggles when facing what the opponent does well, and that should lead to points. And even though that logic does make some sense, we are going another way.
Cleveland has tons of weapons all over its offense and Cincinnati allowed over 26 points per game last season. At the same time, the Bengals are going to lean on their rushing attack with Burrow still finding his rhythm, and Cleveland allowed the third-most rush yards per game a season ago.
Trusting teams who do it on the ground can lead to the clock bleeding out, plus it's thought that defenses have an advantage over offenses early in the season. Now throw in the fact that these two teams had no preseason and are getting just three days off after playing a live opponent for the very first time. The Bengals and Browns could be two tired teams and the offenses shouldn't be moving all that fast.
Week 2 TNF Over Under Pick: Under 46 Points (-110) - Bet $10 and Get $10 On NFL Games At BetMGM!
Bengals vs. Browns Best Bets | Week 2 TNF Picks
- Bengals +7.5 (-110)
- Bengals/Browns Over 46 Points (-110)
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Photo Credit: Associated Press