Bengals vs. Browns: The best betting props for TNF
It’s another NFL first for Joe Burrow, as the Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback makes his primetime debut against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.
Both teams suffered losses in Week 1. The Browns were dominated by the Baltimore Ravens, losing by 32 points to the reigning AFC North champs, while the Bengals held a lead into the fourth quarter before losing on a couple of late field goals to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Here are the best prop bets for Week 2's Thursday Night Football showdown between the Bengals and Browns.
Joe Burrow passing yards
Joe Burrow completed 23 passes on 36 attempts for 193 yards in his debut against the Chargers. Outside of his rushing touchdown, he didn’t light it up the way some might’ve expected following a historic final year with the LSU Tigers.
Some modest improvements are likely in his second NFL start, but adjusting to a short week of preparation might limit Burrow's effectiveness.
The Bengals were decent running the ball against the Chargers, and may want to ease Burrow into the passing game in his second pro outing. Cincinnati didn’t complete one pass over 20 yards in Week 1, and it seems unlikely they’re going to stretch the field unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
Bengals driving and Joe Burrow has a costly interception... pic.twitter.com/ZuoMVYXGgl— Talkin' Football (@TalkinFootball_) September 13, 2020
With Burrow still in his earliest days of learning the NFL game, it may be best to look at the Under on his total passing yards for the time being.
Pick: Under 239.5 yards (-110)
Austin Hooper total receptions
Austin Hooper was quiet in his Browns debut in Week 1, but targets to the veteran tight end should increase against the Bengals.
Hooper signed a four-year, $42 million contract with Cleveland in March. Teams don’t sign players to those types of lucrative deals unless they have big plans to feature them prominently. He will have had an extra few days to practice and build a rapport with quarterback Baker Mayfield, albeit on a short week.
The Browns have also placed fellow tight end David Njoku on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Update: Browns’ TE David Njoku has a sprained MCL and is expected to miss three weeks, per source. https://t.co/lWyMRVDeIC— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 14, 2020
Njoku caught three passes for 50 yards in Week 1, and scored a touchdown.
With Njoku out, Hooper should be in line for more targets. He has a career catch rate of 77%. With more time to familiarize himself with the offense, and a likely increase in targets, he should be able to turn those potential opportunities into catches.
Pick: Over 3.5 receptions (+110)
Total first quarter points
It’s early in the season, but neither offense should inspire much confidence following their tepid Week 1 performances.
The Bengals and Browns were decent running the ball, but the air attack was lacking. Let’s be realistic: That should’ve been expected for Burrow in his debut. For Mayfield, in his third year, 189 yards passing is downright disappointing, even if it was against a good defense in Baltimore.
#Ravens All-Pro CB Marlon Humphrey picks off Baker Mayfieldpic.twitter.com/4I28D6f2Rt— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 13, 2020
It will be difficult to trust either quarterback to push the ball down field, at least in the first quarter. If both teams decide to run the ball, it could chew up a considerable amount of time before points are actually scored.
Expect a low-scoring first quarter.
Pick: Under 7.5 (-115)
Wager on Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season at BetAmerica!