Thursday Night Football Week 2 Picks: Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
Both the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns will look to get their season up and running after succumbing to defeats in Week 1. The Browns went down in spectacular fashion as they were blown apart by the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens can take apart any team in the NFL, especially when Lamar Jackson turns up in the form he did on Sunday. However, an altogether different challenge this week, as they face a Cincinnati team which stuttered to a 16-13 defeat against an underwhelming LA Chargers outfit. We saw a glaring lack of substance to the Bengals offense that day. With both teams looking to take a significant stride forward on Thursday Night Foiotball, can we identify any opportunity to take advantage of in the betting market with our Week 2 picks?
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Where will this game be won?
Number one pick Joe Burrow faced a baptism of fire in Week 1, coming up against the lethal duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram with only a wafer-thin offensive line to protect him. The Browns have their own pass rush weapons in the likes of Myles Garrett and Burrow could feel plenty of defensive pressure once again. The LSU recruit showed flashes of the ability which made him the main man in the draft, and he will get better as the season progresses.
However, Cincinnati are unlikely to put up a host of points and the key to this game could lie in Cleveland’s running game. They are blessed with arguably the most talented running back duo in the NFL in Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, and face a Bengals defense which gave up more rushing yards per game than any other team in 2019 (148.9). The addition of top run stuffer D.J. Reader in the off season was meant to address this, but after giving up 155 yards on the ground against the Chargers, the jury is still out.
Look for Hunt to make a big impact
Despite the dominant score-line in the defeat against Baltimore, the Browns were able to run the ball quite effectively (138 rushing yards). New head coach Kevin Stefanski placed plenty of faith in Hunt, handing him the ball 13 times, and he proved worthy of his coach’s trust, amassing 72 yards. There is no reason why Stefanski shouldn’t give him plenty of opportunities again. William Hill set his rushing yards line at 41.5 and taking him to surpass that is the play here.
SELECTION – KAREEM HUNT OVER 41.5 RUSHING YARDS (20/21 WILLIAM HILL)
NFL Betting Analyst
MICHAEL’S INTEREST IN THE NFL BECAME AN OBSESSION ONCE HIS ATTENDANCE AT SUNDAY DINNER WAS NO LONGER MANDATORY, HE FOLLOWS THE RAVENS AND HAS A SOFT SPOT FOR THE DOLPHINS. YOU CAN FIND HIM ON TWITTER @NORBURYMIKE.