Bengals vs. Browns: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 16:  Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals sets in the pocket against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) head back out on the road for the fourth time in six games looking to sweep their season series against a Cleveland Browns squad (0-5) not only looking for their first win of the 2012 season, but who are looking to end an 11-game losing streak that dates back to the 2011 season.

When these AFC North rivals last met back in Week 2, the Bengals won a 34-27 shootout that was filled with big plays on both sides of the ball, one that saw both quarterbacks combine for more than 600 yards passing and five touchdowns through the air. 

Here's what you need to know heading into this weekend's action.


Where: Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

When: Sunday, October 14 at 1 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Listen: WCKY 1530 AM (Cincinnati), WAKR1590 AM (Akron)

Live Streaming: NFL Sunday Ticket


Spread: Bengals (-2) via VegasInsider

Two points isn't a big spread by any means, and it leaves little room for error for the favored Bengals.

While they have yet to win, three of the Browns' five losses have been by seven points or less—they have been competitive.

Joe Haden's return from a four-game suspension is a major boost for a Browns pass defense that has allowed 12 touchdowns through the air.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but take the Browns getting two points.


Over/Under: 44 via VegasInsider

Both teams have scoring defenses that rank in the bottom third of the NFL, with the Bengals allowing 25.8 points per game while the Browns give up 27.8 points per game.

Their last meeting saw the two teams combine for 61 points on the day.

Take the over in this one.


Who Might Not Play for Cincinnati (via USAToday)

DB Terence Newman (groin), probable for Sunday

WR A.J. Green (knee), probable for Sunday

CB Dre Kirkpatrick (knee), probable for Sunday

T Andrew Whitworth (knee), questionable for Sunday

DB Jason Allen (thigh), questionable for Sunday

LB Dontay Moch (suspension), questionable for Sunday

LB Travelle Wharton (knee), out for season

RB Bernard Scott (knee), out for season


Who Might Not Play for Cleveland (via USAToday)

LB D'Qwell Jackson (concussion), probable for Sunday

CB Joe Haden (suspension), probable for Sunday

DB Raymond Ventrone (calf), questionable for Sunday

DT Ahtyba Rubin (leg), questionable for Sunday

WR Travis Benjamin (knee), questionable for Sunday

DB Tashaun Gipson (knee), questionable for Sunday

WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring), questionable for Sunday

TE Alex Smith (concussion), questionable for Sunday

CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle), doubtful for Sunday

WR Jordan Norwood (foot), out for Sunday

DT Phil Taylor (pectoral), out indefinitely


NFL Films Game Preview


Key Matchup: Bengals WR A.J. Green vs. Browns CB Joe Haden

 A.J. Green is one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL and QB Andy Dalton's favorite target. He ranks fifth in the NFL in receiving yards (493) and receptions (36), fourth in targets (56) and third in receiving touchdowns (four), and while he has a slight knee injury, it's not expected to be a major issue.

Joe Haden is one of the five best cover corners in the NFL, but he's sure to be a bit rusty after sitting out the past four games while serving his suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

He'll need to shake off the rust quickly against the Bengals, who will look to get Green involved in the offense early and often. Containing Green will allow the Browns to slide coverage around the field and put more of an emphasis on stopping the run.


Prediction: Browns 31, Bengals 28

 The game won't be decided until late, and the lead figures to change hands a number of times.

Haden's impact on the game cannot be overstated, and the Browns will pull out their first win of the season in what promises to be an exciting 60 minutes of football.


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