If the Cleveland Browns were to win the AFC North, they likely would have to win a game against division opponents on the road, which they have not done since 2008.
Tonight the Browns travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals, the last AFC North team the Browns defeated on the road six years ago.
Cleveland is 5-3 SU and 4-3-1 ATS. The Browns have thrived in games outside the division recording a mark of 4-1 thus far in non-divisional games.
However, Cleveland according to Bovada and topbet is just 1-2 in division play, which is the primary tiebreaker when it comes to the postseason.
The Browns will be facing a tough Bengals teams on its home field. This season Cincinnati overall is 5-3-1 SU and 4-2-2 ATS. However, over their past 14 home games the Bengals are 13-0-1.
Odds makers have Cincy as a 6-point favorite in the game. However, an upset by Cleveland would move the team into a tie for first with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Cleveland has found it tough going against Cincinnati since 2003 when Marvin Lewis became the coach for the Bengals. Since that time, Cincinnati is 15-7 SU versus the Browns.
However, that record does not mean Cleveland has been a push over against Cincinnati. Against the spread, tells the story. Cleveland is 11-10-1 against the spread versus Cincinnati over those 22 games since 2003. In addition, Cleveland is 6-2-1 as underdogs of 6 or more points.
The ability of the Browns to give Cincinnati a tough game should not be the question. After all, Cleveland’s two losses this season in the division were by a 3 points or less.
According to betonline and sportsbook.com, Cincinnati is 3-1-1 ATS this season at home. Last season the Bengals were 8-0 ATS at home. Teams this season are 7-1 ATS the week after they have played the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Teams playing at home that are favored by 6 or more points this season are 18-8-2 ATS. However, those teams are an impressive 31-6-1 SU.
On Thursday Night Football this season in the NFL, home teams are 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS.
Both defenses have struggled stopping the run, which could make this game a low scoring rushing game with a mistake or two providing the difference between a win and a loss.
Both offenses however have not had the best running games. Cincinnati’s starter Giovani Bernard has been hurt. His replacement Jeremy Hill has played well but is not Bernard.
The Browns rushing game is worse. Cleveland has rushed for a combined 158 yards averaging 1.9 yards per carry in its past three games.
The weather could be a factor with wind and rain forecasted. Cleveland has won four of five put has not been winning big over opponents.
I like Cincinnati laying the 6 points at home.