“Thursday Night Football” is back for Week 2.
After starting the mid-week slate with a star-studded game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans to kick off the NFL season, the league will go in a somewhat different direction with an AFC North matchup.
Quarterback Joe Burrow will lead the Cincinnati Bengals against Odell Beckham Jr. and the Cleveland Browns. Both teams enter Week 2 after being dealt Week 1 losses.
The Browns got smacked around by the talented Baltimore Ravens in a 38-6 defeat while the Bengals lost a much closer contest to the Los Angeles Chargers, a 16-13 verdict.
Here’s our pick for Thursday’s game, with the line via consensus data.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-6)
The Browns, at least on paper, do have more talent with receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, along with running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, though, doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence, especially after his Week 1 performance. The former No. 1 overall pick completed less than 54% of his passes for 189 yards and a QB rating of 65.0.
One thing of note for Mayfield, however, is the fact he hasn’t lost a Thursday game (2-0) while recording wins in three of the four games against the Bengals.
Then again, Mayfield also has never faced Burrow’s Bengals. The 2020 No. 1 pick didn’t fare a whole lot better in his NFL debut Sunday, completing 64% of his passes for 193 yards. The LSU product did tally 46 rushing yards on eight carries with one touchdown. He’ll have running back Joe Mixon and receivers A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd to help shoulder to load.
So, while Cleveland could very well get back to .500, we’re not willing to spot a team who scored six total points Week 1, a six-point advantage.
Pick: Cincinnati +6
Thumbnail photo via Sam Greene/Cincinnati Enquirer/USA TODAY Images