Week 8 of the NFL season ends on Halloween night when the Cleveland Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals.
The headline here is Bengals wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase. He’s dealing with a hip injury that will cost him some time, but he did avoid landing on the injured reserve.
Without Chase, can the Bengals overcome their interstate rivals?
At +160, we’re looking for Brissett to match his single-game high of two passing touchdowns, something he hasn’t done since Week 3.
However, against the Bengals, Brissett will face a defense that doesn’t allow many passing yards per game (202.1) but doesn’t exactly have the most potent threats in the secondary.
Browns cornerback Eli Apple has allowed 278 yards and a touchdown. Fellow cornerback Chidobe Awuzie has been a solid presence, allowing 219 yards, no touchdowns, and a reception percentage of just 43.9%.
The Browns look to wide receiver Amari Cooper often. Still, fellow wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones is in a great spot as he’ll likely line up with Apple most of the time. Peoples-Jones has yet to score, but this is a suitable spot for that to happen.
Cooper will see a lot of Awuzie, but he’s a talented enough receiver that, in one-on-one matchups, you can trust him.
We also have to account for running back Kareem Hunt. He’s been relatively absent in the game plan as of late, but if he gets it going, he’s always a candidate to catch and run for a score.
There are paths for Brissett to get to two touchdowns at +160 odds is a great line to take advantage of.
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There’s no getting around it: The Browns' secondary hasn’t been good this year. While they only allow 210 passing yards per game, they have four separate secondary players that have allowed over 200 yards in coverage that have also allowed touchdowns.
The Browns have just two interceptions on the year, but the game plan without Chase will change it up a bit.
Nowadays, secondaries enjoy playing the two-high look to prevent big plays over the top. Without Chase, the Browns can switch it up defensively as the receivers the Bengals have left aren’t exactly threats to do that—Boyd comes out of the slot. Higgins is more of a contested catch receiver.
Getting a plus price here for a quarterback on the road without his best receiver against a secondary that, while not good, has talented players, especially with their linebackers, is a sensible wager to make.
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As mentioned in the Burrow interception section, the game plan for the Bengals should change quite a bit without Chase in the lineup. The wide receiver depth after Chase, Higgins, and Boyd is almost non-existent, so we may see more two-wide receiver sets and have someone like Michael Thomas on the outside in three-wide sets.
Thomas doesn’t profile as much of a threat in the passing game, but in 12 personnel, the Browns will have two tight ends on the sides of the tackles creating more blocking up front for running back Joe Mixon.
Even with Chase in the lineup, Mixon averaged over 17 carries per game and approximately four catches. Those touches, on average, equate to 84 yards per game.
Without Chase, those figures should only go up, and we’ll take a chance at -115 that we see him get 10 yards more in this one compared to his per-game average.
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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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