Aug 30, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley looks up from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals Backups vs Browns Starters in Cleveland

Who do you trust more with your money – Cincinnati’s backups or Cleveland’s starters?

The Bengals will roll out backup QB Brandon Allen while Joe Burrow rests for the playoffs. Allen won’t be the only backup playing for the Bengals, as they placed a bunch of starters – Trey Hendrickson, Quinton Spain, Joe Mixon, and Vonn Bell – on the Covid-19 list.  

The Browns will start Case Keenum, a blessing in disguise considering Baker Mayfield is 27th in EPA per play since Week 13. Coach Kevin Stefanski said all healthy starters will play, so this game will be starters vs. backups. The spread is only 6 at FanDuel, and the Browns winning by at least a touchdown is the bet to make. 

Bengals Browns Prediction: Odds CLE -6, Total 38 @ DK | Matchup Report 


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Why the Bengals will cover the spread

The Browns have been one of the worst teams in the league over the last four weeks. They are 1-3 during that stretch, including losing three straight. They looked checked out last week, and there is a lack of motivation factor surrounding this team.

The Bengals have dominated this matchup recently. The Bengals are 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings in Cleveland and are 11-3 ATS in their previous 14 meetings. In their previous four meetings, the underdog is 4-0 ATS, so all trends are leaning Cincinnati’s way. 

Why the Browns will cover the spread

The Bengals won’t have the talent on the field to match the Browns. Allen’s last start was Week 17 last season, and he only completed six passes, he threw two interceptions, and the Bengals lost 38-3. 

Keenum has one start this season, and he ran the offense better than Baker has. He was 21/33 for 199 yards and a touchdown. Most importantly, he did not turn the ball over. 

I expect a heavy dose of Nick Chubb in this game. Stefanski got a ton of heat on social media for his lack of usage of Chubb last week, and rightfully so. The Browns rushing attack is fifth in EPA per rush and will dominate the line of scrimmage against the Bengals backups. 

Bengals Browns Prediction

Without Burrow, it’s hard to trust the Bengals to cover anything under seven points. The Browns will rally around their coach and finish the season strong. 

Browns -6 

Cincinnati Cleveland Betting Trends

Browns are 2-12 ATS in their last 14 divisional games

Browns are 15-4 SU in their last 19 games as the favorite

Bengals are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games against Cleveland

Bengals are 3-11-1 ATS in their last 15 games played in January


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