Cincinnati at Cleveland: Predictions and free tips for Thursday's AFC North game
Browns can gain advantage over Bengals in battle of Ohio
Free NFL tips, best bets and analysis for the Cincinnati Bengals at the Cleveland Browns on Thursday
Where to watch
Sky NFL, 1.20am Thursday night
Cleveland to win by one to ten points
1pt 9-5 Betfair, Paddy Power
Neither the Cincinnati Bengals nor the Cleveland Browns are fancied to challenge for the AFC North this season and both got their campaigns off to losing starts on Sunday.
The Browns' 38-6 reverse to the impressive Baltimore Ravens was more comprehensive than the Bengals' 16-13 defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers, but Cleveland probably have the better chance of bouncing back on the short week.
Not only do Cincinnati have to contend with a miserable away record, but it is a big ask of number one draft pick Joe Burrow to bounce straight back into action just four days after his NFL debut.
Burrow showed plenty of promise but he was poorly protected by the Bengals offensive line, which is a concern as they face Browns ace Myles Garrett. Cincinnati could also be vulnerable to the rushing tandem of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb in the absence of Geno Atkins.
It looks set to be a low-scoring clash, so the Browns are taking to secure a narrow victory.
- Cincinnati have covered the handicap in nine of their last 11 games against Cleveland
- Cincinnati have failed to win any of their last 12 away games
- The total has gone over the points line in four of the teams' last five meetings
Geno Aktins (shoulder) and Shawn Williams (calf) are unlikely to return this week. Mike Daniels (groin) and Xavier Su’a-Filo (ankle) are also likely to miss the game. DJ Reader (muscle cramps) should be fit to play.
Offensive tackles Jack Conklin (ankle) and Jedrick Wills (shin) picked up knocks against Baltimore. Tight end David Njoku (knee) is out and linebacker Jacob Phillips (leg) may also be sidelined. Kicker Austin Seibert was released after missing two kicks. Cody Parkey replaces him. Linebacker Mack Wilson and cornerbacks Greedy Williams and Kevin Johnson are unlikely to return this week.
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