Bengals vs. Browns Prediction, Pick: Who wins a battle of backup QBs in Week 18?

Cincinnati and Cleveland will both feature backup quarterbacks this week. Here's our Bengals vs. Browns pick and prediction.

The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns will face off in a game between backup quarterbacks this week. It’s odd for the Bengals, who do have the ability to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win and help. With that being said, they’re resting their players for a playoff run. In this article, you’ll find the NFL odds along with our pick and prediction for the Bengals vs. Browns in Week 18.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns pick, prediction | Week 18

  • Spread: Browns -5.5 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Moneyline: Bengals +185, Browns -225
  • Over/Under: 38

Both teams turn to their second-string QBs

Although Cincinnati has a chance at the No. 1 seed along with a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, they’re benching Joe Burrow this weekend. They would need significant help even if they win, and they’re taking the safer route with their young star.

Brandon Allen has proven to be a decent backup throughout his NFL career, but he’s been less than spectacular. Through 13 games (eight starts), he’s recorded 1,453 yards with 9 touchdowns and 6 interceptions on 231 pass attempts. Allen does have two game-winning drives in his eight starts.

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Baker Mayfield will have immediate surgery to address his shoulder injury, meaning he is also out this week. Case Keenum is another quarterback who’s proven to be a capable backup in the NFL. Through 75 career games (63 starts), he’s thrown for 2,149 yards with 76 touchdowns and 47 interceptions on 2,149 pass attempts.

Of these two quarterbacks, Keenum boasts more upside at the moment.

Bengals vs. Browns betting trends

These teams have been opposites against the spread (ATS) this season. Cincinnati boasts a 9-7 ATS record, covering in 56.3% of their games. They’re also covering by an average of 4.5 points per game.

Cleveland owns a 7-9 record, as they’ve only covered in 43.8% of their games. They’re also failing to cover by an average of 3.1 points per game.

The Bengals enter this game with an 8-8 over/under record on the season, although they lean toward the over with their scoring (3.3 points per game over the total). The Browns have posted a 7-9 over/under record this season, hitting the under by an average of 3.3 points per game.

Keep in mind, these trends may mean little with significant changes at quarterback.

Bengals vs. Browns prediction

This is likely going to be one of the worst games this weekend. The key is that Cleveland isn’t benching the majority of their players like Cincinnati. Although the Browns will be without Mayfield, he hasn’t been playing overly well. Thus, Keenum truly isn’t a major downgrade.

Cincinnati, on the other hand, will have a massive downgrade at quarterback. They’ll also be without Joe Mixon — who tested positive for COVID-19 — and several other starters. They’re using this week to get their players healthy, while the Browns could be looking to evaluate what they want to do next season.

The Browns should have a clear edge in a game that could struggle to produce consistent offense.

Bengals vs. Browns Prediction: Browns 20, Bengals 13

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