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Columns - Magazine

The Gambling Solution: 11/5

by Jeff Baldwin
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The Patriots put an end to the Dolphins’ two game winning streak as they won convincingly 36-7.  Both Jeremy and Jeff split their picks as they each had winners on the Patriots, but fell short with their over selections.  This Thursday night features an AFC North contest between the Bengals and Browns.  Can the Bengals remain undefeated?  Will the Browns snap their three game losing streak?  Let's get to the picks.


Thursday night record

Jeremy: 1-1 (last week); 8-6-2 (season)
Jeff: 1-1 (last week); 7-7-2 (season)

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Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-10.5)

Total Points: 46

Jeff: The Bengals return home after a hard-fought victory on the road in Pittsburgh.  This definitely wasn't one of their better offensive performances, but they came away with a victory nonetheless.  The Browns led the Cardinals 20-10 at halftime, but failed to score the rest of the way as they were defeated 34-20.  To make matters worse, the Browns were hit pretty hard on the injury front.  It looks like QB Josh McCown (ribs) and WR Brian Hartline (concussion) will not suit up against the Bengals.  WR Andrew Hawkins suffered a concussion in Week 7, and is also looking doubtful to play on Thursday night.  QB Johnny Manziel will be behind center as he'll take over for the injured McCown.  The Bengals’ offense will look to bounce back after struggling against the Steelers.  I expect this offense to move the ball up and down the field against this Browns’ defense that gives up 27 points/game and 405 yards/game which ranks towards the bottom of the league.  Look for QB Andy Dalton to spread the ball around in the passing game with his primary target being WR A.J Green.  As for the running game, this is a great matchup for the Bengals to get RB Jeremy Hill and RB Giovani Bernard going as they face the league's worst rush defense.  As for the Bengals’ defense, they did a great job slowing down the Steelers’ offense.  I'm expecting another big effort here.  The Bengals are 14-4 ATS in home games over their last eighteen games.  In regards to the total, I think the Browns’ offense will struggle to score points against the Bengals’ defense.  I think the combined total will land in the low to mid-forties.  Three out of the last four games in this series have gone under.  The Bengals will get to 8-0 as they'll come away with a 31-13 victory.

Pick: Bengals -10.5
Total points: Under 46

Jeremy: The Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns square off in an AFC North matchup at Paul Brown Stadium.  The Bengals remained undefeated after a 16-10 road win over the Steelers. Meanwhile Cleveland fell to the Cardinals 34-20 after blowing a 20-10 halftime lead and being outscored 24-0 in the second half.  The Browns’ defense will face another stiff test against the Bengals who are averaging 28.3 points and more than 400 total yards per game. Andy Dalton is having the best season of his career as he’s thrown 15 touchdowns to only four interceptions. His primary target has been AJ Green who is coming off a 118 yard day in which he also grabbed his fourth touchdown pass of the year. While Dalton and Green get most of the attention, the running game has been outstanding as well averaging 116 yards per game and totaling nine rushing touchdowns. I expect them to have a big night against the Browns who rank dead last in the league in rushing defense giving up nearly 150 yards per game on the ground. Making matters worse, they will most likely be without CB Joe Haden and safety Donte Whitner after both suffered concussions last week. This should create more room for Dalton to throw downfield and open up the running game. Offensively, the Browns will be starting Johnny Manziel at QB after Josh McCown suffered a rib injury last week. Manziel has played in only four games this year and has done little to live up to expectations. He will face a difficult test against the talented Bengals’ defense that has amassed 20 sacks and grabbed eight interceptions while holding opponents to 19 points per game. The posted total for this game is 46. Despite the Browns’ clear offensive limitations, I see this game going over the total as the Bengals will do most of the heavy lifting against the Browns’ beat up defense. As for the side, I like the Bengals here. The home team is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings and the Bengals are undefeated this year ATS. Look for the Bengals’ running game to dominate in this one and Dalton to have a bounce back game.

Pick: Bengals -10.5
Total points: Over 46

Jeff Baldwin
Jeff Baldwin has written Rotoworld's 'Gambling Solution' on Season Pass since 2011. He can be found on Twitter @JeffBaldwin4.