Browns vs Bengals Preview & Free Pick [November 7th 2021]

Cleveland (4-4) at Cincinnati (5-3)
When: Sunday, November 7th 2021
Where: Paul Brown Stadium,
Cincinnati, OH
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: CBS
Opening Odds: Cincinnati -3/47

Two teams that are looking to rebound from ugly losses meet Sunday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium as the Cincinnati Bengals host the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals have already beaten both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens in their division and will try to make it 3-0 with a win over Cleveland. Last week’s stunning 34-31 loss to the New York Jets dropped Cincy behind the Ravens by a half-game in the AFC North race. The Bengals have lost five of their last six against Cleveland, including both in Joe Burrow’s rookie season in 2020 despite accounting for seven touchdowns. Cincinnati has covered two of their last three games and this will be their first home game in almost a month.


The Browns have a lot going on off the field with the distraction of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, who will not play this week. His father posted an Instagram video earlier this week criticizing quarterback Baker Mayfield. Beckham did not practice Wednesday and its being reported that the team is negotiating a way to end their relationship with Beckham. He missed the first two games of the season recovering from ACL surgery last year and has been playing through a shoulder injury that has limited him to 17 catches for 232 yards with no touchdowns in six games. The Browns haven’t scored more than 17 points in four of their last five games after a 15-10 home loss to Pittsburgh last week. This will be Cleveland’s first road game since a 47-42 loss at the L.A. Chargers on Oct. 10.

Mayfield isn’t doing Beckham any favors this season with is poor play and finished with no touchdown passes last week against Pittsburgh on 225 passing yards. On the season, Mayfield has just six touchdowns to three interceptions and has been playing hurt. Beckham had just one catch for six yards last week. Running back Nick Chubb returned but only managed 61 rushing yards on 16 carries. Fellow running back Kareem Hunt remains out with a calf injury and won’t be ready for Sunday. A total of 16 players were on Wednesday’s injury report including wide receiver Jarvis Landry (knee), defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney (ankle/knee/hip) and Takkarist McKinley (groin), defensive tackles Malik Jackson (ankle) and Malik McDowell (illness), safety John Johnson III (neck) and right tackle Jack Conklin (elbow) who is out several weeks. Myles Garrett (10.5 sacks) leads a defense that ranks third against the run (84.8) and seventh versus the pass (220.1).

After a 41-17 statement win at Baltimore in Week 7, the Bengals fell flat at MetLife Stadium against the Jets and a backup quarterback. The Cincy defense allowed Mike White to throw for 405 yards and three touchdowns. The offense wasn’t to blame however, as Burrow threw for 259 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, with Tee Higgins picking up 97 receiving yards. Rookie right guard Jackson Carman was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with a back injury, but was able to practice this week. The Bengals still scored 34 points against the Jets and enter this week with an average of 27.5 points per game – seventh-best in the NFL. The defense has improved this year and ranks sixth in points allowed at 20.2 behind linebacker Logan Wilson (4 interceptions) and DE Trey Hendrickson (7.5 sacks). Cincinnati has been able to avoid major injury issues so far. Only center Trey Hopkins (knee) and edge rusher Cam Sample (knee) missed practice on Wednesday.

I fully expect a big bounce-back game for Cincinnati this weekend. The Browns are a mess right now on offense and the Bengals should be able to hold them to less than 20. Cincinnati has covered nine of the last 11 in the series.

Pick: Bengals -2.5
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