The NFL season will kick off on August 8th with the Thursday night game leading into Sunday's opening weekend games. While there are quite a few games to pick through on Sunday August 11th, one stood out specifically. The Cincinnati Bengals vs. the Cleveland Browns. Both teams were not very good last year to say the least, but one team is making strides while the other is falling apart. While last year's records weren't much different, with the Browns finishing at 5-11 and the Bengals finishing at 4-12; the Browns have found their future running back in Peyton Hillis, and their potential future starting quarterback in Colt McCoy, both of who played surprisingly well last year. But the biggest factor in this game will be the fact that the Bengals don't know who they are.
Their starting quarterback Carson Palmer said that he would retire before playing again for the Bengals, and they also lost star wide receivers Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. Basically, the day 1 starter for the Bengals will either be Carson Palmer (if the Bengals can somehow manage to convince him to stay, which is nearly impossible), or Andy Dalton, who is a rookie and while he has some potential; the Bengals would be completely throwing him into the fire here and hoping for the best.
» Odds and Sports Betting Line
- Cincinnati Bengals: +3
- Cleveland Browns: -3
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» Free Prediction
The Cleveland fans are going to be crazy going into week 1 at home against a divisional opponent in the Cincinnati Bengals. I also don't think that whatever the quarterback situation brings in Cincinnati will be enough to pull an upset win in week 1 against the Browns. Peyton Hillis is going to run all over the Bengals, and Colt McCoy will do more than enough to lead his team to a 1-0 start in the 2011 NFL season.
- Prediction: Cleveland Browns- 24 Cincinnati Bengals- 13
» Free Pick
I think the line here is way too low here, and that it should be taken into account that the Bengals have a really tough quarterback situation going on right now. Another thing to remember is that Andy Dalton is a rookie, and the NFL lockout has to have hurt his learning curve heading into the 2011 season. The combination of the home field, Peyton Hillis, and a Cincinnati offense that will take some time to develop pretty much sums up my pick here. I'm picking the Cleveland Browns to cover the -3.
- Pick: Cleveland Browns -3