Joe Burrow did not dazzle in his NFL debut, but he kept the Cincinnati Bengals in the game and nearly pulled out a victory. Burrow threw for what would have been the go-ahead touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers late in the fourth quarter last Sunday, but the play was nullified by penalty and Cincinnati dropped a 16-13 decision. The Bengals hope for a better fate in Week 2 when they visit the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff for Browns vs. Bengals from FirstEnergy Stadium is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET.

A.J. Green made the catch against the Chargers with less than 10 seconds remaining but was flagged for offensive pass interference, keeping Burrow in search of his first NFL scoring pass. Baker Mayfield had a TD toss in Week 1, but it was the only time the Browns got on the board in their 38-6 setback at Baltimore. Cleveland is a six-point favorite in the latest Browns vs. Bengals odds from William Hill, while the over-under is 43.5. Before locking in any Bengals vs. Browns picks or NFL predictions, make sure you see what SportsLine’s all-time No. 1 NFL expert Mike Tierney has to say. 

A national sportswriter whose work appears in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has covered the NFL for decades and reported from seven Super Bowls. He prefers to evaluate each game from the underdog’s point of view and has used that philosophy to dominate the NFL, going 66-44 against the spread in 2019 and 63-46 in 2018. 

Tierney entered the 2020 season with a 282-222 record at SportsLine (2016-19) on all NFL picks, returning $3,704 to $100 players, and hit all six of his Week 1 picks. He’s also had a sharp eye for the tendencies of the Browns and Bengals, posting a combined 16-3 record on against the spread picks for or against Cleveland and Cincinnati. Anyone who has followed him is way up. 

Now, Tierney has locked in on Bengals vs. Browns from every angle and released a confident against the spread pick. You can visit SportsLine now to see it. Here are several NFL betting lines and trends for Bengals vs. Browns:

  • Bengals vs. Browns spread: Cleveland -6
  • Bengals vs. Browns over-under: 43.5 points
  • Bengals vs. Browns money line: Cleveland -255, Cincinnati +215
  • CLE: Browns are 7-2 against the spread in their last nine Thursday games
  • CIN: Bengals are 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 meetings with the Browns

Why the Browns can cover

Cleveland posted four of its six victories last season at FirstEnergy Stadium, winning four in a row before falling to the Ravens in its home finale. The last of the wins came in Week 14, when the Browns posted a 27-19 win over the Bengals. The Browns are hoping their ground game continues to excel after a solid performance in the season-opener. 

Kareem Hunt (72 yards) and Nick Chubb (60) helped Cleveland to a 138-107 advantage in rushing yards against Baltimore on Sunday. It marked just the third time since the start of the 2019 campaign that the Ravens were out-gained on the ground, with two of those instances coming against the Browns. On Thursday Night Football, Cleveland will face a defense that was among the worst in the league versus the run in Week 1, as it allowed the Chargers to amass 155 rushing yards.

Why the Bengals can cover

Burrow made good use of his weapons in his first NFL contest, as eight different players hauled in a pass, with half finishing with at least four receptions. Wide receiver A.J. Green led the way with five for 51 yards in his first game since Week 13 of the 2018 season. The seven-time Pro Bowl receiver has a touchdown catch in three of his last four meetings with the Browns. 

Green also has excelled when in the spotlight, as he has at least two TD receptions in two of his last three prime-time contests. Despite missing all of last season with torn ankle ligaments, he has the fourth-most receiving yards (8,958) in the NFL since 2011.

Tight end C.J. Uzomah had four catches for 45 yards last Sunday, a total he eclipsed only twice in 16 games last year.

How to make Bengals vs. Browns picks

Tierney is leaning Under, but he’s also discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the Browns vs. Bengals spread. He’s sharing it only at SportsLine. 

Who wins Browns vs. Bengals on Thursday Night Football? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Bengals vs. Browns spread you should jump on, all from the NFL expert who’s brought in over $3,700 to $100 players, and find out.

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