Bengals vs Browns Predictions Week 18 | NFL Pick of the Day

One of two AFC North showdowns, the Cincinnati Bengals have won the division, but have something to play for in terms of playoff seeding. However, the team is resting quarterback Joe Burrow and running back Joe Mixon was placed on the COVID list and will miss the game.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns have announced that quarterback Baker Mayfield is out for this game and will get surgery on his shoulder.

With one team coming in with a competent backup in Case Keenum and the other still with a chance at the No. 1 seed in the AFC, let’s examine the best bets.

Richard’s Prediction Picks Record: 13-16 (-0.10 units)

Please note that all NFL gameday odds are current as of 4:00 p.m. EST on January 7, 2022.

Bengals vs Browns Prediction

Even with a potential higher-seeding up for grabs, the Bengals appear ready to rest some starters. We touched on Burrow and Mixon, but wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase may play only a partial game if at all, and tight end C.J. Uzomah has missed some practice this week.

Of course, this could all drastically change if the Kansas City Chiefs, who are the current No. 2 seed, lose to the Denver Broncos on Saturday.

If that happens, expect everyone who’s not on the COVID list to suit up.

However, operating under the assumption we will be getting a quarterback matchup of Keenum for the Browns versus Brandon Allen for the Bengals, that totally alters the playing field, and the lines at sportsbooks have reflected that.


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This game opened with the Bengals as 2.5-point favorites and that was when we were pretty sure Burrow would at least play a quarter or so.

Without Burrow, Mixon, and potentially Chase, the Bengals now sit as six-point road dogs.

For the Browns, honestly, going from Mayfield to Keenum could be viewed as an upgrade. Mayfield has been terrible and Keenum will at least play in a way that won’t put the ball in harm’s way.

Still, even with Allen under center, the Browns’ offense is still quite inept and we are unsure what the Browns will do in terms of who they’ll play.

We know Chubb will be active, but he’s dealing with a rib injury and could see his role reduced.

With all of this in mind, the Browns should win, but not by much.

Prediction: Browns 16, Bengals 13

Case Keenum Cleveland Browns QB

Can Case Keenum lead the Cleveland Browns to victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in NFL Week 18? (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


Bengals vs Browns Best Bets

Best Bet: Bengals +6 (-110) at Caesars

Wager: 1 Unit

While Keenum should handle the football well enough in terms of not turning the ball over, it’s still going to be hard to make this Browns offense go. With Mayfield or Keenum it doesn’t matter—the team’s offense is putrid.

Chubb will play, yes, but it’s unreasonable to think he’ll get 30 carries in a game in which he has a rib injury and the team has zero shot at the playoffs.

Allen leaves plenty to be desired as a quarterback, but Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has done a lot as of late that has revived my belief in him. He’ll be able to develop a game plan for Allen.

If Chase plays, you can expect some of that game plan to be to get him the ball and he should be able to handle the Browns with ease.

The Browns are a bad football team and six points, even at home, is just way too much to lay against the Bengals in our NFL pick of the day.

Heck, I’d sprinkle some cash on the Bengals moneyline, too.

spread

-110

Bengals Cover +6 Spread @ Browns

CIN @ CLE | 01/09, 1:00 PM ET

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Bet $20, Payout $38

Best Bet: Under 38 Total Points (-110) at Caesars

Wager: 0.5 Units

Even though both teams are on a collision course for an absurd lack of offense, 38 points is still very low.

Still, I’ll take my chances here at the under with a reduced units wager because, as mentioned, unless starters begin to get pulled and a lot of things happen that we can’t quite predict, a Keenum-led offense and an Allen-led offense against an opposing defense that has starting-caliber players are going to struggle to put up points.

At 38, if you wanted to take the over, I won’t talk you out of it, though.

Maybe wait until right before kick-off to see if you can at least get a hook added to this 38 or something.

over-under

-110

Bengals @ Browns: UNDER 38 Points

CIN @ CLE | 01/09, 1:00 PM ET

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Bet $20, Payout $38

Thanks for reading our NFL Week 18 Bengals vs Browns Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 18 Power Rankings and NFL Week 18 Parlays.

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NFL Betting News

  • Early money slightly leaning towards the over in the 49ers-Rams matchup

    DraftKings Sportsbook is reporting good two-way action on the over/under for the NFC Championship Game matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams.

    Betting Impact:
    Per DraftKings, the over of 46 points has attracted 55% of the bets and 60% of the money thus far. Much moreso than the AFC Championship Game, the betting splits on the point spread and total in this game are much more evenly split, so the sportsbook does not have too much liability on either at the moment. From a moneyline perspective, Los Angeles's -170 moneyline odds have attracted 60% of the bets and 70% of the money.

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  • Early bettors give slight lean to the Rams over the 49ers

    Based on the betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook, the favored Los Angeles Rams are getting slightly more betting attention in their matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.

    Betting Impact:
    Per DraftKings, Los Angeles's -3.5 point spread has received 65% of the bets and 61% of the handle thus far. Bettors are clearly torn in this matchup considering the Rams have arguably been playing better football through the first two playoff games, while the 49ers have won six consecutive games against the Rams, including a thrilling Week 18 overtime victory in Los Angeles.

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  • Early money more than 4/1 on the over in the Bengals-Chiefs matchup

    DraftKings Sportsbook is reporting one-sided betting action for Sunday's over/under in the matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs.

    Betting Impact:
    Per DraftKings, the over of 54.5 points has attracted 75% of the bets and 85% of the money thus far. At this point, the sportsbook has big liability to the Chiefs point spread and the over in this matchup, as their most ideal scenario would be a Bengals cover in a low-scoring game at the moment. From a moneyline perspective, Kansas City's -335 moneyline odds have attracted 58% of the bets and 61% of the money.

    CIN vs. KC Game Page

  • Early money 3/1 on the Chiefs over the Bengals

    DraftKings Sportsbook is reporting one-sided betting action for Sunday's matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs, as the majority of the action is backing the favored Chiefs.

    Betting Impact:
    Per DraftKings, Kansas City's -7 point spread has received 61% of the bets and 76% of the handle thus far. Cincinnati is shaping up to be the biggest need of any side or any total this weekend, as the public seems to be enamored with the Chiefs after their thrilling Divisional Round win over Buffalo.

    CIN vs. KC Game Page

  • 49ers-Rams over/under reaches lowest number of the week

    After another line movement, the over/under for the NFC Championship matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams has reached its lowest total of the week.

    Betting Impact:
    Per DraftKings, the 49ers-Rams over/under on Sunday night was posted at 47.5 points. It was quickly bet down to 46.5 in less than 24 hours. However, it has once again moved toward the under, and now currently sits at 46 points. Given that there has not yet been buyback on the over, it is extremely unlikely we see the total get back to anywhere close to the 47.5 points it opened at.

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