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Here are our favorite trends, props, and bets for Thursday night.
As if you needed a reason to fade the Browns, the trends are not on their side. Cleveland is 2-8-2 against the spread in its last 12 games, which includes a 10-point loss to the Bengals as a short favorite to end the 2019 season.
That was the 10th time in their last 11 tries that the Browns failed to cover against Cincinnati, part of a 10-19-1 ATS run in their last 30 divisional games. Conversely, the Bengals are 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 divisional games and 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 games as road underdogs.
The under is in a strong spot for these two squads. The Browns are 13-1 to the under in their last 14 prime-time games and the Bengals are riding a 12-2-1 run to the under in the late-night slot.
This game also begs an under play even without factoring in these teams' recent histories. The under is 10-1 in the last 11 prime-time games when two teams are coming off a loss. The total is already moving down in this one and could fall further given how these offenses looked on Sunday.
Austin Hooper over 36.5 yards (-112)
Hooper didn't have the best debut with the Browns last week - catching two passes for 15 yards - but fellow tight end David Njoku had 50 yards before leaving the game with a knee injury that landed him on injured reserve. His absence Thursday opens the door for Hooper to assume some of that production against a vulnerable Cincinnati defense.
The Bengals allowed Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry to snag five catches for 73 yards last week. That's a good sign for Hooper, who recorded at least 37 yards in nine of 13 games last year as the primary option with the Atlanta Falcons. Without Njoku to compete for targets, expect more of the same from the Browns' top tight end.
A.J. Green over 4.5 receptions (+122)
In his first game as a pro, it appeared Joe Burrow had already found his favorite weapon. The Bengals quarterback targeted A.J. Green a team-high nine times on Sunday, including on the potential game-winner that was negated by pass interference.
Green finished with five catches against an elite Chargers secondary. He could go for even more against the Browns, who have allowed at least five receptions to Green in four straight matchups and eight of their last 11.
There are a ton of ways to go with this game, but the simplest route is to take the points against one of the worst bets in the NFL. The Browns have been favored by this many points just four times since 2014 and consistently struggled against a frisky Bengals team that thrives as an underdog. Expect a close one on Thursday.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.