Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1) at Cleveland Browns (7-6)
|Date & Time||Sunday December 14, 2014, 1:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Cleveland Browns PK -- Over/Under: 44
The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns square off in a AFC North matchup at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Cincinnati Bengals have won three of their last four games and are currently first place in the division. Andy Dalton is completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 15 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Dalton has six total touchdowns and four picks in his last three games, and the Bengals have 33 passing plays of 20 or more yards. A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu have combined for more than 1,600 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns while Jermaine Gresham has 12 of his 50 receptions in his last three games. The Bengals ground game is averaging 4.1 yards per carry, as Jeremy Hill leads the way with 729 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, the Cincinnati Bengals are allowing 22.2 points, 377.8 yards, and they’ve forced 15 sacks and 17 turnovers. Vincent Rey leads Cincinnati with 97 tackles and Carlos Dunlap has six sacks.
The Cleveland Browns have lost three of their last four games but still remain in the wild card hunt. Johnny Manziel is going to get his first career start. Manziel has thrown just nine pass attempts, and the Browns have 51 passing plays of 20 or more yards. Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel have combined for more than 1,300 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Josh Gordon has 17 receptions in his first three games back. The Browns ground game is averaging 3.6 yards per carry, as Terrance West leads the way with 556 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Cleveland Browns are allowing 20.8 points, 360.5 yards, and they’ve forced 27 sacks and 26 turnovers. Donte Whitner leads Cleveland with 85 tackles and Paul Kruger has nine sacks.
The Bengals are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games in December. The Browns are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games in December and 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss. The Bengals are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Cleveland and 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings overall.
The Bengals don't have much film to study on Manziel, and his playmaking ability will finally give this Browns offense some balance. When you add in the nasty home crowd of Cleveland and the fact the Bengals have been so up-and-down, I'm backing the Browns to win this game in a pick em.