How The Browns Can Defeat The Bengals On Thursday Night Football

Cleveland (-260) is favored by 6.0 points over Cincinnati (+210) with the over/under set at 44.0 total points

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Quick-Hitters

  • The Cleveland Browns (0-1) and Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) come into this AFC North matchup looking for their first win.

  • Cleveland needs to take advantage of the Bengals weak run defense, which gave up 155 yards versus the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1.

  • The Browns had three turnovers against a staunch Baltimore Ravens defense. To win this game, they need to eliminate the turnovers.

  • Cleveland (-260) is heavily favored over Cincinnati (+210) with the over/under set at 44.0 total points. The Browns are 6.0-point favorites. CLICK HERE FOR LIVE GAME ODDS!

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Tough To Find A Positive

The Cleveland Browns (0-1) couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start in the 2020 regular-season, getting their doors blown in by the Baltimore Ravens 38-6. The Ravens are arguably the best team in the conference and the Browns were expected to be in the middle of the pack at 40-1 odds to win the Super Bowl (per DraftKings Sportsbook), but still, this was a bigger blowout than most expected.

What went wrong? Everything. The offense only generated 307 yards, including just 168 yards through the air. The Browns were only 3-of-12 on third down conversions, and they logged eight penalties for 80 yards. Worse, they had three turnovers, including two lost fumbles and an interception. The defense was abysmal, allowing 377 total yards. Lamar Jackson was nearly perfect, going 20-of-25 for 275 yards and three touchdowns. There’s a lot of work to do in every phase of the game.

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An Encouraging Debut

The Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) began the Joe Burrow era on Sunday with a hard fought loss to the Los Angeles Chargers 16-13. They had a chance to tie or win in the final minutes, as Burrow engineered an 80-yard drive that started at their own 18. It looked like the Bengals won it when Burrow hit A.J. Green for the go-ahead touchdown with 12 seconds left, but Green was flagged for offensive pass interference and it was called back. To make matters worse, kicker Randy Bullock missed a chip shot field goal with two seconds left and the Bengals lost.

There's plenty to build off of, including Burrow’s impressive final drive. The defense was okay, allowing 362 total yards, including 207 yards through the air and 155 yards on the ground. Two fourth quarter turnovers killed them, including a Joe Mixon fumble that led to the Chargers go-ahead field goal.

How Cleveland Can Secure A Win

The Browns are 6.0-point favorites in this game at home, but they won’t cover if they play like they did against the Ravens. The Browns need to throw out game one and start fresh and view the Ravens debacle as a preseason game. While the Bengals defense only allowed 16 points, Tyrod Taylor and the Chargers are no offensive juggernaut. Still, the Chargers gashed the Bengals rushing defense for 155 yards, so there’s an opportunity for the Browns backfield of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb to do some damage.

If they can establish the run, that could open things up for quarterback Baker Mayfield to make use of his two good wideouts, Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Also, the Browns need to eliminate the turnovers because the only way an inferior Bengals team is going to win this is by winning the turnover battle.

Against a rookie quarterback and an offense that generated less than 300 yards last week, the Browns should be able to take care of business. Cleveland's big advantage should be on offense, and if Mayfield and company play up to their ability, the Browns should be able to win and cover.

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