Browns at Bengals
Not your father's 'Browns vs. Bengals' game: For the first time in a long, long time, both teams are winning. Even more unusual given the recent history of the division, these two teams are playing for first place in the AFC North, at least for the time being.
As ESPN's Pat McManamon pointed out on Tuesday, you'd have to go back 28 years to find the last time the Browns and Bengals were both winning, (above .500), this late into the season.
Now the tides are turning, but no one in the division is going down easy. This 2014 changing of the guards is far from completion, and of course, the Ravens and Steelers are not going out without a fight.
For now, however, after having spent nearly three decades with one or the other serving as a whipping boy, Cincinnati and Cleveland will have to deal with each other first, Thursday night's winner emerging with the strongest position in the AFC North heading into the remainder of Week 10.
The line for this potentially historic primetime matchup opened at +6 for the Browns. Unsurprisingly, even with the short week, the point spread has continued to trend in the Bengals' direction, where you can find it between +6.5 (5Dimes) and +7 (Bovada).
|Stat||Cincinnati Bengals||Cleveland Browns|
|Point Spread (Money Line)||-6.5 (-108)||+6.5 (-102)|
|Consensus: Current Bets||61%||39%|
|Computer Predicted Score||23||21|
The hot-and-cold public consensus view on Cleveland over these past five weeks is following suit as well.
While the Browns have been incredibly hard for the public and computer to predict against the spread, one thing not requiring any sort of Nostradamus is the fact that the general sports gambling public will overreact in the opposite direction they took the previous week if proven wrong.
Once again, though, the Oddshark prediction computer remains entirely undeterred by such noise. It's not about to let that 1-6-1 record of picking Browns games against the spread this season from getting to its head, err, positronic matrix? Regardless...
Despite the underwhelming performances throughout the "easy" stretch against the worst the NFL had to offer, the Machines are actually predicting an incredibly close loss for the Browns as they travel to Paul Brown Stadium to take on the heavily favored in-state rival Bengals, 23-21, meaning Cleveland covers.
Performance of opponents, consensus, computer, and Browns against the spread:
|Week||Opponent||Spread (Line)||Consensus||Computer||Final||Browns ATS|
|1||@ Pittsburgh Steelers||-6.5 (-115)||64%||22-15||30-27||Cover +3.5|
|2||New Orleans Saints||-7.0 (-105)||65%||26-15||24-26||Cover +9.0|
|3||Baltimore Ravens||-2.0 (-105)||62%||21-16||23-21||Push|
|5||@ Tennessee Titans||-1.0 (-125)||43%||17-16||28-29||Cover +2.0|
|6||Pittsburgh Steelers||+2.0 (-115)||55%||27-19||10-31||Cover +19.0|
|7||@ Jacksonville Jaguars||+6.0 (-110)||40%||11-22||24-6||Loss -24.0|
|8||Oakland Raiders||+7.0 (-110)||54%||10-21||13-23||Cover +3.0|
|9||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+7.0 (-115)||39%||9-22||17-22||Loss -2.0|
|10||@ Cincinnati Bengals||-6.5 (-108)||61%||23-21|
Current records when picking Browns' games against the spread this season:
|Browns (actual score)||5-2-1|
The Browns are back in the player proposition wagers! And again, it's not just another Johnny Manziel question.
Although his name appears on the bottom of the list, the fact that this improbable Rookie of the Year darkhorse is given odds at all is impressive: none other than undrafted wide receiver Taylor Gabriel.
Bovada has Gabriel's odds to win the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award at 33/1. Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell have since fallen off the same list since their appearance in Week 5.
While he's quietly become Cleveland's second leading receiver, he's also proven to be an incredibly explosive deep threat. Gabriel's averaging the second most yards per catch in the league, at 19.2, among players with more than 20 receptions. That's a YPC number rivaling Josh Gordon circa 2013.
The best news yet: Gabriel is only getting coming off of his most productive game yet, and Gordon is due back after just two more games left on his suspension.
|Offensive Rookie of the Year - Odds to Win||Week 10||Week 5|
|Sammy Watkins (BUF) WR||7/2||15/2|
|Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) WR||4/1||5/2|
|Mike Evans (TB) WR||4/1||-|
|Brandin Cooks (NO) WR||15/2||3/1|
|Allen Hurns (JAC) WR||10/1||-|
|Jeremy Hill (CIN) RB||10/1||-|
|Martavis Bryant (PIT) WR||10/1||-|
|Allen Robinson (JAC) WR||12/1||-|
|Jerick McKinnon (MIN) RB||12/1||20/1|
|Odell Beckham (NYG) WR||12/1||-|
|☞Taylor Gabriel (CLE) WR||33/1||-|
Share your predictions for all the lines in the comments!
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