The line on this has moved from the Bengals being 3 point favorites to now just 1 point favorites. The obvious side for both professionals and public is the Browns. This comes after Damarious Randall heard my earlier comments that I would continue betting against the Bengals as long as they were without AJ Green. He told the press, “If they don’t have AJ they’re getting their ass beat”. Obviously Damarious has been reading my blog so thank you for that but now I need you to make that statement true after getting this line to move.
In Andy Dalton’s career without AJ Green he has actually beat the Bengals twice. Those Browns teams however were not as talented as this one. The Browns offense has been playing very well under new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens and I expect that to continue this week. The Bengals defense is ranked 27th in overall efficiency (18th passing, 30th rushing) and will be without top cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick for this game. The Browns offense is ranked only 29th but has moved up 2 spots since Hue Jackson’s firing. I expect the Browns to have no problems moving the ball on this defense that has given up 45, 37, 51 and 24 points in their last 4 games.
On the other side of the ball we have already mentioned the Bengals being without AJ Green. The Browns defense is ranked 8th in overall efficiency (2nd passing, 26th rushing) and the Bengal offense is ranked 16th (18th passing 16th rushing). The Bengals offense has sorely missed Aj Green. They were able to keep last week’s game close but still only gained 255 yards for the whole game. Without Aj Green defenses are able to stack the line to defend the run and that resulted in Joe Mixon gaining only 14 yards on 12 carries. The Browns defense is fully healthy and includes their best run stuffing defensive linemen, Larry Ogunjobi. I see the Bengals sub-300-total-yards streak continuing in this game. They will be lucky to score more than once today.
The Browns have lost their last 7 games against their division rival Bengals. This includes the last 4 where Hue Jackson was head coach. Jackson is now on the other sideline after being hired as an assistant to the head coach by Marvin Lewis. The last time the Browns beat the Bengals, Hue Jackson was the offensive coordinator for the Bengals. I expect the team without Hue Jackson to get the win today.