Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns Previews and Picks 01/09/2022

by James Q

Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns Previews and Picks 01/09/2022

Game Time:  1:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 9th, 2022
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
Where to Watch:  CBS

Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

FanDuel: point spread: NL
BetMGM: Browns -3; O/U 42.5
Caesars: Bengals -3; O/U 41.5 points

Season Record

Bengals: 10-6, 1st place AFC North
Browns: 7-9, last place AFC North

At this moment BetMGM has the Browns listed as a favorite with a spread of -3… before it changes RUN, RUN, RUN to the site and bet big.  It will change.  It may have already happened before you read this.  The Browns just announced that Baker will not play the Final game and instead get surgery on his shoulder to be ready for next season…. Which means they are not giving him an extension… they will franchise tag him… and wait and see about next year for the contract.  (I wouldn’t give him a penny more than 10 million… so move on).  

The battle for Ohio has good news and bad news.  The good news: The Bengals will be in the playoffs and favored to win their first game. The bad roster in Cincinnati has a great young quarterback in Joe Burrow.  Joe has changed the culture there and is walking this team into the playoffs… if he gets a playoff win we will see something that Cincinnati hasn’t in 32 YEARS.  Not since 1990 has Cincinnati been even relevant and now they have 1 of the 2 best young quarterbacks in the league (the other guy plays for the Los Angeles Chargers).... Then the bad news:  The Browns have been eliminated from playoff eligibility. Cleveland has a great roster with weapons all over the field and a solid defense that can get after the opponents’ quarterback, but are stuck with QB Baker Mayfield.  Baker was the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft … and it was a mistake.  Drafting Baker seriously benefitted the terrible, winless Browns because it lit a fire under the arse of those in charge to actually build a real roster.  This new Browns roster is wonderful…. And it has moved past Baker’s abilities on a football field and deserves a QB with a big arm and a real killer instinct.  Pull the band-aid now and Cleveland players may respond like Odell Beckham Jr and find a higher level of performance. 

The Cincinnati Bengals are on a three-game winning streak beating the Kansas City Chiefs, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Denver Broncos.  It was a great playoff clinching run through good teams.  It also made up for the two losses in early December to the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.  Another wonderful thing about the three-game winning streak was that it was 3-games of wins ATS.  The Bengals announced their offense is real by hanging 41 on the Ravens defense and 34 on the Chiefs defense.  QB Joe Burrow has an outside chance of breaking 5000 passing yards on the season… thanks to a big 500 passing yard game against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Cleveland Browns are on a three-game losing streak against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Green Bay Packers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers… That Steelers loss was crucial as it eliminated them from the playoffs for certain.  It also turned out to be the last time Clleveland will ever face QB Ben Rothlisberger… their AFC North opponent… if his leaving doesn’t light a fire under Cleveland to find the right quarterback NOW… nothing will. 

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Cincinnati Bengals vs Browns Preview and Analysis

The Bengals are 10-6 on the season, but 9-7 ATS.  They have logged 8 Overs and 8 Unders.  They are 5-2 in road games.
The Browns are 7-9 on the season and 7-9 ATS.  They have logged 7 Overs and 9 Unders.  They are 5-3 in home games.

Offensive Analysis

The Bengals are 5th in points with 27.8 per, 9th in yards with 372.7 per.  That breaks down to 7th in passing yards and 22nd in rushing yards.  The offense is clicking.  The offense is good. 
The Browns are 20th in points with 20.5 per game and 18th in yards with 338.4 per game.  That breaks down to 26th passing and 4th rushing.  Nothing indicts Baker Mayfield more than his team being terrible at the pass and great at the run… since other teams in the top five in rushing have quarterbacks that can scramble along with their running game.  So, Baker is not a good passer and he is not mobile.  Cut bait and run Cleveland.

Defensive Analysis

The Bengals are 18th in defense while allowing 349.3 yards per game from opponents.  They rank 18th in defense of points while allowing 22.2 per game.  The weakness is against passing yards where they are 27th while allowing 253.2 ypg.  That 27th ranking shouldn’t be any problem against the Browns… but it will seriously hamper them in the playoffs.

The Browns are a fantastic defensive team.  They rank 6th in defending yards, 6th in defending passing yards, and 16th in defending the rush.  They will be missing a safety and a pair of cornerbacks against the Bengals…so those fine numbers will take a big hit and confuse the easily confused front office this off-season.  They allow 22.2 ppg.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns Prediction

Our prediction for Sunday, January 9th is…  Bengals 38 - Browns 17

That’s right.  The Bengals will blow out whatever is left of the Browns roster by gameday.  Once the playoff elimination happened several Browns will have checked out mentally and too many will be on IR to begin with.  Add to that a back-up quarterback and we will get a Bengals victory lap.  Make that money… and do it soon because the line will move.

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NFL Betting Trends

The Bengals are 5-2 ATS in road games this season.
The Bengals are 4-1 ATS against division opponents this season.
The Browns are 1-4 ATS vs division opponents this season.
The Browns are 5-13 ATS vs division opponents the last 3 seasons.
The Browns are 2-5 ATS vs teams with a winning record this season.

Key Injuries

Bengals: G Quinton Spain (ankle) Out ** G Xavier Su’a-Filo (ankle) Quest (this is big because Xavier is the back-up for Quinton, they’ll have a third string spot on the O-line).

Browns: QB Baker Mayfield (shoulder) Out for the last game, RB Kareem Hunt (ankle) Quest ** S Ronnie harrison Jr (ankle) Out ** CB Troy Hill (covid) Out ** CB Greedy Williams (shoulder) Quest….  This injury report and that the Browns are not going to the playoffs should convince you of a really big passing day for Joe Burrow.


Starting Lineups

Bengals:  QB Joe Burrow, RD Joe Mixon, WR Ja’Marr Chase, WR Tyler Boyd, WR Tee Higgins, TE CJ Uzomah, LT Jonah Williams, LG Quinton Spain, C Trey Hopkins, RG Hakeem Adeniji, RT Isaiah Prince

Browns: QB Case Keenum, RB Nick Chubb, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR Jarvis Landry, TE Austin Hooper, TE David Njoku, LT Jedrick Wills Jr, LG Joel Bitonio, C JC Tretter, RG Wyatt Teller, RT James Hudson III

Statistical Leaders

Touchdowns: Joe Mixon 13
Rushing Yards: Joe Mixon 1,205
Passing Yards: Joe Burrow 4,611 yards
Receiving Yards: Ja’Marr Chase 1,429
Sacks: Trey Hendrickson 14
Interceptions: Logan Wilson 4

Touchdowns: Nick Chubb 8
Rushing Yards: Nick Chubb 1,201
Passing Yards: Baker Mayfield 3,010
Receiving Yards: Donovan Peoples-Jones 559
Sacks: Myles Garrett 15
Interceptions: John Johnson III 3

Weather Forecast

Rain and snow.  Wind at 21 MPH.  Humidity 78%.  Cold and windy.

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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