Cleveland Browns Undervalued After Slow Debut from Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson, Browns. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Deshaun Watson, Browns. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

The Browns were able to knock off the lowly Texans in Week 13, but not because of the return of their star quarterback Deshaun Watson, but because of three defensive and special teams touchdowns.

Now, Cleveland heads to Cincinnati to face the Bengals, who are coming off an impressive win against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. However, Cleveland ran wild on the Bengals en route to a 32-13 victory in Week 8.

What should we expect in the rematch with the Browns looking to stay in the AFC Wild Card race while the Bengals are in the hunt for a second straight AFC North title?

Here are the updated odds:

Browns vs. Bengals Odds, Spread and Total

Browns vs. Bengals Line Movement

After opening as 4.5-point home favorites, the Bengals are now -5.5 following the impressive home win against the Chiefs and the lackluster offensive effort from the Browns.

The total has dropped from 49 to 46.5 for this Sunday afternoon meeting.

Browns vs. Bengals Prediction and Pick

Watson struggled in his first game back after nearly two full seasons out of action due to a hold out and suspension, completing 12-of-22 passes for 131 yards and throwing an interception, but this line is an overreaction.

Cleveland’s ability to slow this game down with a strong run game makes them an attractive underdog bet. The Browns are 5-1-1 against the spread (ATS) this season as a dog, anchored by the sixth best run game on an EPA basis. They will face a Bengals defense that is 26th defending the run and will struggle to pull away from their division foes.

I expect a strong effort from Cleveland and a cover in the process. The Browns have beaten Joe Burrow all four times they have faced him.