Monday Night NFL Betting — Cincinnate Bengals must improvise at receiver vs. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns Football

Can the Cleveland Browns and Chubb Keep the Bengals at Bay on Monday Night Football?

By Charles Jay

The Cleveland Browns are letting things slip away from themselves in the AFC North. And truth be told, they haven’t played in a way that would promote any level of contention on their part.

They haven’t made great decisions either; they signed quarterback DeShaun Watson to a whopping contract, only to see him being shelved on a suspension. By the time he’s ready to come back, it may not matter anymore, because the Browns have now lost  four games in a row and are sitting with a 2-5 record.

BetOnline customers know that it’s tough for a team to make two Super Bowl trips in a row, and the Cincinnati Bengals are experiencing that right now. Joe Burrow that awful protection from his offensive line last season, and it looks like that unit, despite personnel changes, is on track to eclipse last year’s sack total. Now Burrow has to operate without Ja’Marr Chase, his buddy since the college days at LSU, and who is sitting out with a hip injury.

We know he has some receivers, but does he have enough of them? That is certainly a question that will have to be answered for Monday Night Football, which begins at 8:15 p.m. Eastern time from FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. Of course, ESPN will be televising the festivities.

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Monday Night NFL Betting — Here are the numbers……

In the NFL betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, the Bengals are favored by a field goal.

Cincinnati Bengals -3  (- 125)
Cleveland Browns + 3  (+ 105)
Over 45 points -113
Under 45 points  -107

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Monday Night NFL Betting — About the Cleveland Browns

Jacoby Brissett has been minding the store for the time being, and he’s been in that role before, having assumed the starting job in Indianapolis after Andrew Luck unexpectedly retired.

Grissett is averaging 7.9 intended air yards per attempt, which indicates he’s not throwing all short passes. But he’s only getting 4.3 yards after the catch per completion from his receivers. He has not thrown for 300 yards yet in the 2022 season. And in seven games, he’s only had six touchdown throws.

The strength of the Browns resides in their ground attack. As a team they are averaging 5.2 yards per carry, and the guy who is really carrying the mail on the offensive side of the ball is Nick Chubb, who has 740 yards to lead all NFL rushers, as well as a 5.9 yards-per-carry average.

It will likely be the intention of the Browns to control the football on the ground. In sweeping last year’s two encounters, they ran for 358 yards against the Bengals. On an overall basis, they have won seven of the last eight times these teams have played each other. And believe me, that’s important. This is a blood rivalry that goes all the way back to Paul Brown founding the Bengals franchise.

Monday Night NFL Betting — About the Cincinnati Bengals

The story has to begin with Joe Burrow, who has averaged 7.8 yards per attempt, but won’t have Chase in the game. That will change the dynamic at the wide receiver position a little. Yes, Burrow is fortunate in that he has two other standout wide receivers in Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, both of whom have 455 receiving yards. At the same time, he is unfortunate in that beyond those other receivers, he has to take pot luc.

Hayden Hurst, the tight end who was playing behind Kyle Pitts in Atlanta, it’s going to be an alternative. He’s a short-range option, averaging 7.8 yards per catch.

The Bengals have allowed 4.6 yards per rushing attempt, which, to an extent, would make them fair game for what Cleveland can do on the ground. But on an overall basis, their stop unit is actually underrated. No other team makes it more difficult to complete passes then the Bengals, who have allowed a shade under 57%. In Red Zone situations, their opponents have succeeded less than 39% of the time. No wonder five of the seven teams that have played against Cincinnati have failed to get beyond 20 points.

Monday Night NFL Betting — So what’s our verdict?

This price is difficult, especially when the favorite is missing a very important player. But the guys who are remaining have actually had a higher connection percentage with Burrow. Also, it deserves mention that Brissett is the guy who is getting scarier protection lately than Burrow.

The Browns quarterback has been sacked nine times in the last two games, and after a barrage in the first two contests in which he was sacked 13 times, Burrow has sustained just eleven sacks in five games since. That shouldn’t be ignored

While the Browns will be able to execute some of their game plan, count on Cincinnati to overplay the run and make Brissett beat them. The edge in explosiveness, as well as defense, goes to Cincinnati. And so does another factor – a revenge motivation. Don’t underestimate that when these teams meet. The Bengals would love to push Cleveland even closer to irrelevance. Yeah, we’ll lay the points.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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