Cleveland Browns (11-5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)
The NFL Week 18 presents an intriguing AFC North clash as the Cleveland Browns, carrying an impressive 11-5 record, visit the Cincinnati Bengals, who are at a balanced 8-8. Set for Sunday in the Paycor Stadium, this game is more than just a regional rivalry; it’s a battle for postseason positioning and pride. As the teams prepare for this crucial encounter, Super Bowl betting picks are heating up, with bettors and analysts scrutinizing every possible angle to predict the outcome.
The Browns have demonstrated outstanding offensive strength this season, particularly their ground game. Jerome Ford has amassed 807 rushing yards and four touchdowns while averaging four yards per attempt; his ability to consistently gain positive yardage is instrumental to their offensive success. Joe Flacco made an impactful contribution during limited playing time over five games by throwing for 1,616 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions over that span; while Cedric Tillman hasn’t provided nearly as much explosiveness; thus creating concern.
Jake Browning has been an invaluable addition to the Bengals this season. Through eight games, he’s completed 69.9% of his passes for 1,780 yards with 9 touchdowns and only six interceptions; keeping them competitive while Joe Mixon led an efficient running attack with 923 yards and eight touchdowns from 923 rushing attempts while contributing offensively overall. Ja’Marr Chase also stood out immensely; amassing 1,197 receiving yards with seven touchdowns over 96 receptions — turning plays downfield into game changers!
Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals Game Info
|Sunday, January 7, 2024, at 1:00 PM ET
|NFL Game Pass
Joe Flacco QB vs. Jake Browning QB
Joe Flacco has not seen much action this season, making just 5 starts across his 123 pass attempts. In that limited sample, his numbers appear unimpressive – a 90.2 rating and just 7.9 yards per attempt. However, prior to injuries derailing his year, Flacco had the Browns offense humming. Despite his advancing age, he still possesses the big arm to attack downfield. Flacco is willing stand tall in the pocket until the last second to give routes time to develop. He may take more sacks than ideal, but won’t hesitate to take hits to move the chains. If Flacco regains his early season form, he could significantly outproduce expectations.
Meanwhile, Jake Browning has kept the Bengals steady in his first significant NFL action. While not posting gaudy totals, he has been an efficient game manager (96.5 rating). By taking what defenses give him and avoiding turnovers (6 INTs on 219 attempts), Browning allows Cincinnati’s playmakers room to operate. While not fleet of foot, he shows solid pocket awareness and keeps his eyes downfield when facing pressure. Browning won’t single-handedly win games for the Bengals, but limits mistakes and has earned his teammates’ trust. If he can continue to get the ball to Cincinnati’s electric receivers in space, Browning gives them a chance to put up points on almost any defense.
NFL Odds/Point Spread: Cincinnati Bengals -260, Total Odds: 38.5
The odds favor the Bengals, reflecting their strong home performance and recent form. The spread at 6 points suggests confidence in Cincinnati’s ability to control the game, while the total at 38.5 indicates expectations of a moderately high-scoring encounter.
Cleveland Browns Betting Trends
The Browns are 4-1 against the spread (ATS) recently, indicating they frequently outperform betting expectations. They also have a winning straight-up record in their last 7 matches against Cincinnati. With the teams trending in opposite directions, Cleveland seems poised to keep this game competitive.
Cincinnati Bengals Betting Trends
Home field has meant everything for the Bengals, with the team going 12-3 straight-up at Paycor Stadium. They have also beaten the total in 4 of their last 5 outings, showcasing an ability to put up points. With Cleveland’s inconsisent defense, Cincinnati should be able to score over 20 points needed to beat the oddsmakers total.
Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals 1/7/24 Betting Picks
Considering the trends and performances, this game appears to be a close contest. The Browns’ recent form makes them a competitive underdog, while the Bengals’ home record and offensive efficiency make them the favorites.
For those looking at the top live betting website, the Browns could offer value as an underdog, especially with the spread. The over/under is a tougher call, but given both teams’ offensive capabilities, the over might be a reasonable bet. Prop bets on key players like Mixon and Chase could be particularly interesting, given their consistent performance this season.