BROWNS (2-6) AT
BENGALS (7-0), 8:25 p.m.
TV: NFL; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)
Bengals by 111/2; O/U: 451/2
The Bengals are 7-0 for the first time in franchise history. There are four 7-0 teams, a first in NFL history. Here's the number that I like the most: The Bengals are 6-0-1 against the spread (ATS), the only team without a loss ATS this season.
Last week marked only the second time this season they've been an underdog, and they used a strong fourth quarter to win at Pittsburgh. That was a huge rivalry game, and there could be a letdown this week against the lowly Browns. Key word being could. I don't think it will happen.
The Browns are 1-3 on the road, and with Josh McCown hurting, they'll turn to Johnny Manziel. Rewind to last season, and Manziel's NFL debut as a starter was against the Bengals. It wasn't pretty. Manziel was picked off twice and held to 80 yards passing in a 30-0 pasting. His quarterback counterpart, Andy Dalton, is having a career year, but the Bengals will run up the score with their running game. Cleveland allows a league-high 147 rushing yards per game, and Cincinnati averages 115.9 yards on the ground. Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard should have a busy, productive night.
It's been an underdog season through the first eight weeks. Favorites are 54-60-4 ATS, and 2-3 when the line is 10 or more points. Laying 111/2 points is a lot, but the Bengals have so many weapons on offense, and a strong defense, that I believe there's a better chance of them winning by two touchdowns than the Browns keeping it close.
The pick: Bengals
BOB GLAUBER: Bengals
KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN: Browns
TOM ROCK: Bengals