The Cincinnati Bengals are taking on the Cleveland Browns tonight in the NFL’s Thursday evening matchup and according to the latest line the Bengals are an 11.5 point favorite according to the sportsbooks covered by OddsShark.com. I know Cincinnati is HOT right now like never ever before (first time in franchise history to be 7-0) and I believe they will win, but I suspect it won’t be by that much. I’m laying $100 fictional bucks on the Bengals to win straight up.
I am aware of Cincinnati Quarterback Andy Dalton’s paltry history in NFL prime time games with a weak 3-7 record, but tonight he gets number 4. He has turned the corner and so have his teammates this year. The comeback wins at Baltimore, at home against the vaunted defense of Seattle, and on the road against the bitter Pittsburgh Steelers are proof of change in the Bengals mental toughness ready to win key games in the NFL. Also, the weather will be mild tonight, the Cleveland Browns are a head case at 2-6. The Cleveland secondary is racked with injuries especially to their best cover man, Joe Haden, who is one of the few corners to ever give Cincinnati Wide out A.J. Green fits. Then there is the very healthy Cincy offense loaded with targets to throw to or great backs to hand off to.
So why won’t Cincinnati cover? Cleveland will play with nothing to lose in this rivalry game and their Qb Johnny Manziel will have the reigns loosened because with their starter Josh McCown hurt, Manziel is their only shot. I see Johhny ‘Football’ Manziel running and gunning tonight to keep it exciting for a while, until the Bengals take over in the second half. Cincinnati wins 27-17.