VSiN market expert Josh Appelbaum analyzes the betting splits and line movement for Monday Night Football between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.
Wake up with VSiN Daily Morning Bets, a quick 15-minute podcast posted at 6:30 a.m. ET highlighting the top games and biggest line moves of the day. For a comprehensive breakdown of Monday’s betting action, be sure to catch the VSiN Market Insights Podcast. It will be posted at 2:30 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let’s examine where smart money is leaning for tonight’s Monday Night Football showdown ...
These AFC North rivals are trending in opposite directions. The Bengals (4-3) have won two in a row and four of their past five games. Cincinnati is coming off a 35-17 win over the Falcons, easily covering as a 6.5-point home favorite. On the flip side, the Browns (2-5) have lost four straight games and just fell to the Ravens, 23-20, but covered as a 6.5-point road dog.
This line opened with the Bengals listed as a 3-point road favorite. The public thinks this line is way too low and sees an easy win and cover with Cincinnati. However, despite 84% of bets laying the points, this line hasn’t budged off Cincinnati -3. Anytime it briefly rises to -3.5, we’ve seen sharp buyback on the Browns plus the hook (+3.5), dropping it back down to 3. Essentially, we are seeing a sharp line freeze on Cleveland, with books reluctant to move the number despite heavy public on Cincinnati.
Cleveland has value as an unpopular contrarian dog (only 16% of bets) in a heavily bet primetime game. Divisional dogs are 22-17 ATS (56%) this season. Divisional dogs 3 or more are 18-10 ATS (64%). Dogs who missed the playoffs the previous season, like the Browns, are 50-35 ATS (59%).
The total opened at 45 and quickly rose to 47.5 earlier in the week. Since that time, we’ve seen the total fall back down to 45. The Bengals will miss star WR Ja’Marr Chase, who is out due to injury. Divisional unders are 27-12 (69%) this season. Primetime unders are 15-9 (63%). The under is only receiving 33% of bets but 42% of money, a sharp contrarian bet discrepancy. The forecast calls for low 60s with 5-10 MPH winds.