- The Cleveland Browns are 6.5-point favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals for Week 2 Thursday Night Football
- The Bengals are 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 games against Cleveland
- Browns have the 2nd worst ATS record dating back to last season at 5-11-1 ATS
- Cleveland is home chalk for the 10th time in 5 seasons.
Week 1 of the 2020 NFL betting season is in the books and Week 2 starts on Thursday with a matchup between two teams from Ohio. The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns are in search of their first wins of the season after disappointing losses on Sunday. The Browns were smacked by the Baltimore Ravens while the Bengals lost a heartbreaker to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Here is our Action Rush Thursday Night Football betting guide complete with the best odds, prop bets, and analysis for the start of Week 2 of the NFL season.
Bengals – Browns Odds Week 2
Even though the Browns suffered the biggest loss of any Week 1 team, they are still six-point favorites over the Bengals in this one. After all, Cleveland had to face one of the Super Bowl favorites in the Baltimore Ravens. Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson threw for three scores in the 32-point blowout.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow isn’t on Jackson’s level yet. The Browns might not be juggernauts of the NFC North, but they have much more continuity than Burrow and the Bengals. It’s also worth mentioning that the Browns are the home team in this game. Although that means less in 2020 than in previous years, it still means something.
TNF Preview & Betting Angles
The Bengals are the underdogs, but the public is putting most of the money down on Cincinnati. That goes for the spread and moneyline.
Taking the six points on the spread line is the safer bet, but for people who don’t trust Baker Mayfield and the Browns, the moneyline is an intriguing option. There is already murmurs that the Browns are looking to shop Odell Beckham Jr. due to his non-existent chemistry with Mayfield. Since he was traded from the New York Giants to Cleveland, Beckham has looked like a shell of himself.
For Cincinnati, A.J. Green is finally healthy and he has a competent quarterback to throw him the ball. The Bengals were one questionable pass interference call away from beating the Chargers on a Burrow to Green score. The seven-time Pro Bowler may have lost a step or two over the years, but that connection is one to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
The total points are set to 44, which presents a conundrum for bettors. Will these offenses break out in Week 2 against much weaker defenses. Both the Ravens and Chargers boast strong defensive fronts that presented problems for Burrow and Mayfield.
But there is so much talent on Cleveland’s offense that they almost have to perform to better than they did Week 1. Meanwhile, Burrow started to find a rhythm late in the fourth quarter against the Chargers. Could that be an indication that he’s going to carry over that momentum on a short week?
Three Browns starting offensive linemen are questionable to play vs. the Bengals: LT Jedrick Willis, Jr., RT Jack Conklin and C JC Tretter. Same goes for WR Jarvis Landry and DE Olivier Vernon.
CB Greedy Williams, CB Kevin Johnson and LB Mack Wilson have all been ruled out.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 16, 2020
Who is the public betting on?
So far, the public is all over the Bengals in this one. Cincinnati is bringing in 67% of the spread handle and 72% of total tickets. The disparity in bets is even bigger on the moneyline with the Bengals hauling in 77% of the total money and 68% of the tickets.
On the total points, the sharp money is on the under. Although only 51% of bets are on the UNDER, those tickets account for 78% of the total handle. That’s not a huge surprise. Both teams have potential offensively but underwhelmed in Week 1. Not to mention, sharp money generally goes on the under on a short week.
There are already a ton of team and player props out on Thursday Night Football Week 2. From touchdown scorers to passing yards matchups, there’s something for every bettor out there.
One player prop we like is A.J. Green to go over 53.5 receiving yards (-112). Green has hauled in at least 54 yards receiving in seven of his last eight full games. Of course, the one game he didn’t was Week 1 against the Chargers, but the Browns were 23rd in pass defense last season. Green is Burrow’s best target through the air and if they have any chance of upsetting Cleveland, they’ll need him to have a solid game.
PFF Grade from Clean Pocket in W1:
🔸 Burrow 81.9 (10th)
🔸 Mayfield 59.7 (28th) pic.twitter.com/lS6Rg8Fi1p
— PFF (@PFF) September 16, 2020
Where To Watch Bengals at Browns
This week’s Thursday Night Football game can be found nationally at NFL Network and Fox has the coverage. That means Joe Buck will do play-by-play with Troy Aikman as the game analyst. Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink will handle sideline reporting duties. The game will kick off at 8:20 p.m. ET.
Betting Picks & Score Prediction
As much as we love Joe Burrow and his future in the NFL, asking any rookie to lead his team to a win on a short week is difficult. There are still legitimate questions about Baker Mayfield’s future but his experience and home-field advantage should play a significant part in Thursday’s game.
The Bengals are winless in their last 13 road games and Mayfield is 2-0 in his career in Thursday Night Football games. Take the Browns laying the points.
Final score prediction: Browns 21-13
(Small’s 2020 NFL Record: 3-1)
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