Thursday Night Football's effort in Week Ten of the NFL is the Battle of Ohio between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. Just typing the phrase Battle of Ohio fills me with irreparable sadness.
I'm sure Ohio is a perfectly valid place to exist, but I couldn't imagine living in a place so devoid of anything interesting or noteworthy. Until LeBron and Manziel got there, Ohio was nothing more than a place that mattered on Election Day and then never again, which is still what Ohio is, only it now has LeBron and Manziel.
Now let's pick a goddamn football game.
Line: BENGALS -6 vs. Browns
Both Cleveland and Cincinnati come into this game at 4-4 against the total this season. Both teams are god awful against the run, tied for dead last in yards against per rush at 4.8 yards per carry. While their pass defense are more stingy, both squads are in the top 10 in yards per pass attempt. This game will go over.
Over/Under: OVER 45
For Cincinnati, A.J. Green isn't on the injury report, so he should actually play football again. That should help a Bengals offense that has struggled occasionally in his absence. With that said, the benefit his return presents to Cincy is negated by a Browns pass defense that is allowing fewer than seven yards per pass attempt.
Also, Brian Hoyer is straight up outplaying Andy Dalton this season, despite Cleveland not having Josh Gordon this season. Hoyer is throwing for more yards per pass attempt, has more touchdown passes, and fewer interceptions through eight games.
If Cincinnati is going to flourish in this game, their rushing attack is going to be the star of the show. They are ranked sixth in rushing by DVOA, and are averaging over four yards per carry as a team. But those numbers are greatly helped by multiple long touchdown runs this season, with Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard both racking up over 75 yards on single touchdown runs this year. Bernard, by the way, appears doubtful to play in this game.
Cincinnati should win this game, but Cleveland's playmaking ability on both sides of the ball should keep them close throughout.
Pick: Browns +6 over BENGALS
Last Week: 7-6
2014 ATS: 72-61-1 (54.1%)
2014 Over/Unders: 7-2 (77.8%)
2014 NFL: 79-63-1 (55.6%)