NFL Thursday Night Football Picks: Browns at Bengals

Cincinnati welcomes their in-state rival for a primetime brawl and we have a couple key stats, player injury information and an Over/Under prediction to consider

Cleveland lost in Jacksonville three weeks ago but recovered with a couple of home wins since then, albeit against teams ranked 30th and 31st respectively in our overall power ratings. The Bengals had been on a steady freefall down that list of NFL teams and Cinci was looking wildly inconsistent – not the kind of team you want to by laying divisional points on. But they got things back together in Week 8 to complete the season sweep of the Ravens. Cincinnati is 9-1 straight-up when hosting the Browns since 20054 and in prime position to extend its lead in the division but after reviewing the stats, we felt like the total offered more value.


The current NFL odds for this game are Bengals -6.5 and O/U 46, up from an opening total of 44. Thursday divisional totals were on a 5-15 O/U run from 2003 to 2012 but since then the profile seemed to reverse course completely. The latest Thursday Night Football trends show 10 overs and 1 under when the total is between 37 and 47 points; see for yourself with this SDQL link to


Perhaps teams have become more accustomed to these short prep weeks. Either way, it’s just one of a dozen trends “live” on this game and with the amount of sports betting data available in today’s market, you always have to remember to takes these stats in stride. Another angle for divisional road dogs off a home win shows us a nice 60-percent hit-rate on the under with more than 100 plays since 2003 and the past few years have been staying under at a rate of more than 70-percent.


Cleveland will be without TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) but could have ex-Bengal WR Andrew Hawkins back (Check status). With Giovanni Bernard (knee) out of the lineup, Cinci is going with RB Jeremy Hill, who rushed for 151 yards in last week’s win over Jacksonville. Hill will be running behind a line that are missing RT Andre Smith (ankle) but Cinci was using two TE sets with great effectiveness in the home win against Jacksonville and they will likely continue to run that until it breaks. Hill is a 235-pound workhorse that will wear down the Browns defensive front seven all game long and draw extra attention from the secondary. Cheat too hard on the run, though, and Cleveland will pay the price against WRs Sanu and Green. Green was a little rusty in his return last week, fumbling once and lining up offside on another would-be touchdown play but we’ll look for a more productive game here.


The Bengals are just 5-14 ATS in their past 19 standalone games and although we feel they should be able to win this game by seven, we are looking for a strong defensive effort that helps keep this game under the inflated number.

Pick: Take the Browns-Bengals UNDER 46 points


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