2 and 2 at the weekend, the long shot not happening and the Bengals should have tied it at 19-19 to take it to overtime but the kicker missed a last second FG to lose 19-16 and ruin my bet. But Jacobs scored and the Raiders covered the spread, so a slight loss. – It turns out I messed up the link to the spreadsheet – NFL P/L Sheet – Hopefully that will work.
Burrow v Baker tonight as two #1 overall picks face off against each other. It's Bakers 3rd year in the league, he started his time in the NFL well, not so much since then, and it's Burrows second game. That's the main thing I'll be looking at tonight. Is Burrow it? Is Baker done?
Bengals +6.5 @ Browns: 43.5
The Bengals lost a close game to the Chargers at the weekend but it wasn't doom and gloom at all, after a rough first quarter rookie QB Joe Burrow settled into his task and did well to deal with the lack of protection he was getting on the right hand side of his offensive line. He hit some good passes and led the team down the field to give them the chance to tie before Randy Bullock, the kicker missed an easy one and clutched his legs to try and give himself an excuse. It was well done by Burrow but he should have won it before that when over-throwing AJ Green.
There were good signs there and I hope he can bring that second half into this one from the start. There's offensive talent on the Bengals roster with AJ Green seemingly, and rightly the main target, he's brilliant when healthy. Boyd in the slot should get more of the ball as the season goes and the Browns are weak in defending that position, so I think there could be a decent amount of him and the Tight End CJ Uzomah for tonight's game. John Ross had a lot of targets but couldn't haul in enough and he can take it to the house from anywhere if he gets free.
Defensively the Bengals were surprisingly decent after a terrible season last time, they spent a lot and drafted a few new guys on that side of the ball and it looks like that might be paying off early on. They should be able to get pressure on Baker Mayfield at least.
The Browns got smashed by the second best team in the league, and have been criticised greatly for it. I think that it's been too much to be honest, a lot of the points against them came from their own mistakes and they actually had the ball for longer than their opposition. They took risks as they knew they had to be aggressive against the Ravens, they shouldn't need to do that against the Bengals tonight so I think they'll be more run-heavy.
The main question of the night for me is whether Baker Mayfield is actually any good or not. He had a good rookie year but has disappointed in pretty much every game since, last year against the Bengals he had a 44% completion percentage. He really needs to figure out some kind of connection with Odell Beckham who was meant to be a superstar in this offense, but he's been sorely disappointing since joining the team, they used a core injury as excuse for him last year, this year? Well they just aren't on the same page. He was targeted 10 times on Sunday, only 4 of them were deemed catchable.
They will be without David Njoku the tight end who scored for them at the weekend so it seems likely that Austin Hooper and maybe Harrison Bryant the rookie TE will be on the field more tonight. I do think they'll try and run the ball more than ever and they've got probably the best running back tandem in the league with Nick Chubb (2nd in rush yards last season) and Kareem Hunt.
Defensively they really need to just line up Myles Garrett over the Bengals right tackle and let him go to town. Bobby Hart would have been beaten by a toddler the way he was playing on Sunday. He has to be better tonight.
I haven't got the conviction to take either of these teams against the spread. I think the Bengals will cover it, but I think it could go either way. I can't see either team blowing the other out thought, around 24-20 either way. So I guess I'm leaning over the total as well.
There's a few bets I'm looking towards – CJ Uzomah receiving yards is 21.5 on 888, 22.5 most places – It's either that or o2.5 receptions which is the line everywhere (he's had 4,5,4 in the last 3 games) even 6/1 on him scoring (365) is tempting as he was targeted in the endzone on Sunday. – I will personally probably be backing AJ Green until he scores if he's over 2/1 each game. My boy Joey B ran one in at 10/1 at the weekend, he's into 6/1 already now. – I actually don't mind Gio Bernard of Tee Higgins to score anytime – 8/1 and 10/1 (Betfair for Tee as it's not on oddschecker)
From the Browns side of it, I thought I'd be on Chubb rush yards but 70 is a bit too high for me to take. Austin Hooper o3.5 receptions. With Njoku out he'll get more of the ball @ 2.20 (Skybet) – Or for a larger stake o2.5 @ 1.54 on WillHill.
- CJ Uzomah o2.5 receptions @ 1.91 (WillHill)
I'll leave it at that, lots that I like, but nothing I want official.
Good luck, I shall be up to watch it and probably angrily tweeting about it when we lose.