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Can the Browns Upset the Bengals in Week 4 at Home

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

Kick-Off: Sunday, September 29th 2013 at 1:00pm ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio
Live On: CBS

The Cleveland Browns 1-2 (1-2 ATS) shocked the country by beating the Minnesota Vikings last week on the road. The team had just traded its star RB to the Colts and unknown 3rd stringer QB Brian Hoyer started due to injuries to the Browns at the QB position.

This week they’ll look to move to .500 on the season with a home win over the surging Cincinnati Bengals 2-1 (2-0-1 ATS). Last year in Cleveland the Browns took care of business and beat the Bengals 34-24 and the Bengals won 34-27 in Cincinnati.

Bengals vs. Browns Betting Lines

Cincinnati opened up as a –5 point favorite early this week, but action has taken the point spread down to just –4 and I still think we may see another ½ point come off the spread. The current Bengals vs. Browns week 4 over/under is set at 41.5 (-110).

Bovada Live Odds
Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns
Point Spread:
-4 (-110)
+4 (-110)
Money Line
-210
+175
Game Total
O41.5 (-110)
U41.5 (-110)

Previewing the Battle of Ohio

Cleveland may have beaten the Vikings (31-27), but they didn’t look that good in the process. It was a game where Minnesota played down to the level of their opponent. There were a combined seven turnovers in the game (4 Cleveland / 3 Minnesota).

The Bengals defense currently allows 231 PYPG (14th), 102.3 RYPG (14th) and 21.3 PPG (13th). The defense also has 7 takeaways and I expect them to be able to put tons of pressure on Hoyer. The 3rd string QB had 3 INT’s last week and I think he’ll have multiple again.

Without Richardson the Browns were unable to establish much of a run game except for a couple big runs. Trying to run the football on Cincy isn’t impossible, as some teams have had success, but their front seven is going to shutdown the Browns RB’s.

The Browns offense may be in shambles, but they still have an underrated defense that gets the job done. Cleveland has allowed an average of 21.3 PPG (12th), 215.7 PYPG (12th) and 84.3 RYPG (7th). However, this is the best offense that they’ve had to play against.

Cincinnati scores 25 PPG (10th) plus they average 257.3 PYPG (11th) and 90.7 RYPG (21st). A.J. Green is having a monster start to the season (19 Receptions for 249 yards & 3 TD’s). The two TE’s on the Bengals (Jermaine Gresham & Tyler Eifert) have done well also.

Dalton has completed a combined 24 passes to his two TE’s for 248 receiving yards, but neither has caught a TD pass. The two big men should be great targets in the red zone and I would expect both of them to start producing more if given the targets.

Cleveland’s secondary will be tested a lot in this match-up. They’ll have to most likely double Green most of the game and that will leave the TE’s plus Mohamed Sanu (13 Catches for 127 Yards) in coverage that they can beat. Look for Sanu in the screen game.

The Bengals only have six sacks on the season, but the Browns o-line has given up 14 sacks already through 3 games. Cincy should be able to put pressure on Hoyer and if they can manage to do that the secondary will have a field day picking off his passes.

Bengals vs. Browns Prediction

I feel that this match-up is going to come down to what team can play the best defense and what team is able to throw the football consistently to pick up first downs. I don’t see either team picking up many yards on the ground, so both QB’s will be pressured.

Cleveland hasn’t shown the ability to keep their QB safe from pressure and the Bengals have some big blitz packages. If they can put pressure on Hoyer this game could get ugly. The only reason the Browns won last week was because the Vikings had 3 turnovers.

I don’t expect the Bengals to turnover the football. Cincy knows how important it is to win division games if they want to make the playoffs again this year and they can’t afford to lose to the Browns, so I expect the Bengals to come out and play well on the road.

This point spread seems a little low in my opinion. The Vikings were –7 favorites last week, but the Bengals are a way better team on both sides of the football when compared to Minnesota, so I feel we’re getting a soft line and the Bengals should win by 7+ points.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting. Follow Scott on Twitter


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