Every NFL Thursday, I will attempt, using the tools and stats from FTNBets.com, to slay the sportsbooks, scribbling his favorite side, total and prop picks for the week’s Thursday night game. Some will win. Many will lose. Fade or follow? That, of course, is up to you. Here’s where I’m stacking greenbacks on Bengals/Browns.
Side: Bengals +6 (DraftKings, -109) — In the Battle of the Buckeye State, it’s rather nuts to think Cleveland, off an absolute clunker in which they resembled a MAC school, is favored by such a hefty sum, yet here we are.
The Browns threw everything and the kitchen sink at Lamar Jackson, pressuring the reigning MVP on 48.3% of his drop backs. Head coach Zac Taylor and rookie hotshot Joe Burrow will need to read and react quickly to avoid disaster with quick hitters to Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green. Pair that approach with persistent Joe Mixon feedings and this one should tuck inside the proposed side. After a -7.5 open, the money is clearly backing the visitors. Follow it.
Prop: Joe Burrow OVER 24.5 rush yards (BetMGM, -110) — If the Browns over-pursue the rookie with an identical gusto displayed against Lamar Jackson Week 1, opportunity knocks.
Burrow is an underrated scrambler, a player who, on a designed run last Sunday against the Chargers, bolted his way to a 23-yard touchdown. In total, he piled up 48 yards on eight attempts. Whether on scripted or improvisational runs, expect him to sail past the proposed number. Seven signal-callers topped 25 ground yards against the Browns in their past 14 contests, including Jackson in Week 1.
Total: Nick Chubb OVER 66.5 rush yards (FanDuel, -110) — Normally, this real estate features a terribly inaccurate pick on the overall game total. However, given the well-set 44 number, this -EV bettor is avoiding it like tightly compacted indoor spaces with unmasked patrons.
Speaking as a betting man of high integrity and valor, a pick must be made and Chubb’s ridiculously low 66.5 rush yards present a wonderful opportunity.
Chubb was woefully underutilized last week in a blowout loss against Baltimore. On a comical 10 carries, he rambled for 60 yards tallying 4.40 yards after contact per attempt, the second-highest mark among Week 1 RBs. Against a softer, gentler Cincinnati front, which yielded 4.5 yards per carry and 148 rush yards to the L.A. Chargers, the Browns back earns his Snausages.
Super bonus prop: Odell Beckham Jr. OVER 59.5 receiving yards (BetMGM, -111) — Last week against the arguably the stiffest secondary in the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens, Beckham gifted his supporters with a very Beckham 2019 line — 10 targets, 3 receptions, 22 yards, 0 touchdowns. Squeezed by the Marcus Peters/Marlon Humphrey vise, he added another woeful chapter to his recent history against the division rival. Off that embarrassment, bank on a rebound. His primary assignment, William Jackson III, has allowed 1.30 yards per snap over his past 15 games.