The NFL kicks off Week 9 of its schedule with an AFC North matchup featuring the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Cleveland Browns. The unbeaten Bengals opened as 10-point favorites, and the line has since climbed as high as 12.5 points at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The moneyline has the Bengals between -600 and -750, and the Browns between +450 and +525. Cincinnati also enters the division matchup as the clear favorite on the odds to win the AFC North.
The line for Thursday night has increased due to the Browns' extensive injury report. Quarterback Josh McCown will not play due to a rib injury, replaced by Johnny Manziel. The young quarterback will have wide receiver Travis Benjamin, but will be without Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins, who are still progressing through the NFL’s concussion protocol.
The Browns are 2-6 SU and 3-4-1 ATS through eight weeks. They are 4-2 ATS in their last six road games, but just 1-5 SU. Cleveland is 1-5 SU and 3-2-1 ATS in their last six games facing the Bengals. The Browns have lost the last eight games in which they are a double-digit underdog, but are 5-3 ATS in those games.
The Bengals have a shorter injury report, but some notable names included. Right tackle Andre Smith has been ruled out of the game due to a concussion. On defense, linebacker Rey Maualuga (calf) and defensive end Carlos Dunlap (shoulder) are both questionable.
Cincinnati enters this game 7-0 SU and 6-0-1 ATS. They are 15-4-2 ATS in their last 21 home games according to the OddsShark NFL Database, and 17-3-1 SU. They are 2-4-1 ATS in their last seven overall games against the Browns.
This marks the second straight season the Bengals have been a double-digit favorite in a game, but prior to that they had not been since 2009. They pushed as a 10-point favorite against the Jacksonville Jaguars last season.
The point total opened at 47, but has come down to 45.5. The total has gone UNDER in three of the last four games between these two teams. The total has gone OVER in four the Bengals' last five home games, and three of the Browns' last five road games.
The OddsShark Computer predicts a 32.2-18.4 Bengals victory. That would provide for the Bengals cover, and the OVER.