The Cincinnati Bengals have turned issues round after an 0-2 begin, profitable 4 of their previous 5 video games. The offense particularly has been on the upswing since Week 3, thanks partly to utilizing more “11” personnel, a formation that features one working again, one tight finish and three vast receivers. That, in flip, has decreased the frequency that opponents can stack the field in opposition to the Bengals’ working backs, making a extra environment friendly offense total. In its first two video games, Cincinnati scored nearly 10 fewer factors per recreation than anticipated based mostly on the down, distance and area place of every play, per knowledge from TruMedia. Since Week 3, the offense is scoring eight extra factors per recreation than anticipated.
Sadly for the Bengals, one among their largest offensive stars, vast receiver Ja’Marr Chase, is anticipated to overlook between 4 and 6 weeks with a hip damage. That’s actually a loss, however it gained’t completely deplete Cincinnati’s offense. Quarterback Joe Burrow nonetheless has harmful receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, and his passer ranking this season when concentrating on them has been 121.8 and 111.1, respectively. For comparability, it was 120.0 when concentrating on Chase, indicating that there needs to be loads of firepower Monday night time.
This level unfold, favoring the Bengals by three or 3½ factors as of Monday morning relying on the place you look, nonetheless appears to be like mild regardless of the important thing damage. Cincinnati has been the league’s sixth-best crew, per Football Outsiders, which adjusts its rankings based mostly on opponent, whereas Cleveland ranks fifteenth, a notable distinction. Plus, the Browns are hardly an image of well being; they’ve already dominated out tight finish David Njoku (ankle), proper guard Wyatt Teller (calf), cornerback Denzel Ward (concussion) and sort out Joe Haeg (concussion) for Monday’s recreation. Tight finish Pharaoh Brown (concussion, neck), cornerbacks Greg Newsome II (indirect) and Grasping Williams (sickness) and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (knee) had been all listed as questionable.
The full sits at 45 or 45½, once more relying on what guide you’re utilizing.
If you’re too squeamish to choose a facet or the entire on this one as a result of all of the accidents, listed below are another Monday night time picks which may curiosity you.
Tyler Boyd over 60½ receiving yards
On paper, the Browns have an excellent report in opposition to slot receivers this season, permitting a mere 72.4 passer ranking to them, considerably beneath the league common (94.2). Nevertheless, as talked about, their prime slot cornerback, Newsome, is listed as questionable with an indirect damage. At greatest, Newsome figures to be compromised, and at worst, he is perhaps out fully, which ought to contribute to a good night time for Boyd. On the time of this writing, Caesars was even providing over 62½ receiving yards at +104 odds, a stable worth contemplating the circumstances.
Third quarter the bottom scoring quarter, +255
Courting again to final season, the Bengals’ protection has been formidable popping out of the tunnel within the second half. Cincinnati has allowed simply 52 factors within the third quarter over its final 24 common season video games, second solely to the Buffalo Payments. Cincinnati additionally hasn’t yielded greater than a area purpose within the third quarter since Week 15 of final season and has held opponents scoreless within the third quarter 3 times in 2022.
Matt Bonesteel’s greatest bets
Hayden Hurst over 3.5 receptions
You’ll pay some hefty juice for this one (it’s -145 at DraftKings as of this writing), however I feel it’s value paying up. The tight finish already was turning into an integral a part of the Bengals’ offense even earlier than Chase went down: Hurst has seen 18 targets over the previous three video games, and he’s caught 15 of them. Now with Chase out, Burrow ought to proceed to look his means, notably with the Browns presumably centered extra on shutting down Higgins and Boyd.
Joe Mixon anytime landing
Mixon sits close to the highest of the anytime-touchdown market at DraftKings, at -120 odds, however I’m wanting in his route as a result of Cleveland has given up a minimum of two dashing touchdowns in six of seven video games this season, and 61.9 % of the factors scored in opposition to the Browns have come through dashing scores, a proportion that ranks thirtieth out of 32 NFL groups. Cincinnati has struggled to get Mixon going this season, however I feel Cleveland’s woeful dashing protection offers him a chief alternative to search out the tip zone.