The long 2019 NFL schedule comes to an end for Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday December 29th, 2019. For the Browns the 2019 NFL season finishes as another disappointment after high hopes and praise was presented prior to the start of the season. After acquiring Odell Beckham Jr from the New York Giants to go along with the strong finish to the 2018 season, many experts and sports handicappers had high expectations for the Browns.
Despite a solid start to the season including a win over the AFC Champions the Baltimore Ravens, the Browns could not sustain any momentum including losing three of their last four contests to miss the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Bengals just struggled from the start of the season to this point winning just one of their first 15 games. While the record is disappointing, another injury plagued season from star wide out A.J. Green and struggles on both sides of the football has helped the Bengals secure the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
In their Week 14 meeting, Nick Chubb carried the load for the Browns rushing for 106 yards on 15 carries while Kareem Hunt added a rushing touchdown. On the other side, Joe Mixon carried the Bengals offense rushing for 146 yards on 23 carries to go with a touchdown. While the rushing attacks carried the offense neither quarterback made plays. Andy Dalton finished with 262 yards with one interception while Baker Mayfield threw for 192 yards to go with two interceptions.
Heading into Week 17, the Browns are three point favor playing on the road, while the over/under sits at 44.5 total points. Here is an NFL Game Preview and NFL Pick and Prediction for the upcoming matchup between the Browns and Bengals.
Baker Mayfield & Odell Beckham Must Show Up
The high expectations for the Browns entering the season relied on the success of quarterback Baker Mayfield and All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham after the team landed the star wide out during the off-season. Despite strong play from both last season, the two could not get into rhythm this season and both failed to produce throughout the season. On the year Mayfield has thrown for 3,548 yards to go with 19 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Meanwhile Beckham has just 71 catches for 954 yards and a career low three touchdown receptions.
Continue to Run the Football
The Bengals offense has struggled for most of the 2019 NFL season including the play under center with both Andy Dalton and Ryan Finley at quarterback. The one bright spot has been the play of running back Joe Mixon who has put together a solid season on a very bad Bengals team including rushing for over 100 yards three teams. Over the team’s last three contests, Mixon has 322 yards to go with one touchdown while pulling in eight catches for 83 yards. On the year Mixon has rushed for 975 yards with three touchdowns while pulling in 34 catches for 273 yards and three touchdown catches.
Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals NFL Pick and Prediction
Over the past few seasons neither the Browns nor the Bengals have had success on the football field. Heading into their Week 17 AFC North showdown, the Browns have won three straight meetings including a 35-20 win back in November of 2018 at Paul Brown Stadium. Prior to these meetings the Bengals had won seven straight meetings. Overall the Bengals lead the head to head series with the Browns 50-42.
Entering this contest both the Browns and Bengals have struggled for sports bettors electing to make them their NFL pick. The Browns and Bengals both enter this contest covering the spread in just five of their first 15 contests to open the season. The Browns enter their Week 17 matchup covering the spread in just two of their first seven road contests while the Bengals have cover the spread in just one of their first seven home contests.
For these two teams, the Bengals have controlled the series in regards to betting statistics covering the spread in eight of the last ten overall meetings between the two clubs. Meanwhile, the Browns have failed to cover the spread in each of their last five trips to Paul Brown Stadium. Despite the numbers take the Browns at -3 on the road as your NFL pick for Week 17.
Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday December 29th, 2019
1pm ET @ Paul Brown Stadium
Betting Spread: Browns -3 | Total 44.5
Pick & Prediction: Cleveland Browns -3