The Keys to this game handicapping are the following in my opinion:
The offensive output of the Browns is seriously decimated by the probable absence of few key offensive players including the QB and 2 wide receivers. Manziel – the replacement QB for McCown was the one who has suffered that 0-30 home defeat to the same Bengals he faces today in last season.
The teams are Over machines with 7-1 (CIN) and 5-2 (CLE), but Vegas chose to open the totals with precise 47 which is the algorithmic calculation of the line (95.1/2, or 27.65 – 19.9), And even that is half a point less than it should have been. Why? Because it is going to go under due to the lack of offensive options for the browns. The dichotomy produced by the Browns having one of the best offensive lines staff wise and at the same time having one of the worse pass protection and overall offense that is ranked only 25th – will continue tonight. But at least tonight it may be justified by the absences.
This game can have only two following scenarios from the Vegas perspective – or the Browns cover and, since to do that they will have to score enough for the Over to happen… Or the Under dictated by the O/U records of the teams (no one really wants in Vegas or the NFL headquarters to have 8-1 and 6-2 Over teams) will also be a key to the Bengals covering -13.
I will choose the later in a milder form at first.
This is a 5 Units Play
CIN Bengals -7 First Half -110