2011 Season NFL Football Past Picks
September 11, 2011
This pick was released to clients on December 31, 1969 at 9:00PM ET.
Cincinnati at Cleveland
Sunday 09/11 01:00 PM Eastern
2 units on Cincinnati PICK () (risk 2 to return 2) RESULT: WIN
Cleveland fans are fired up for this year, but this team has a terrible track record of being prepared coming out of preseason as the Browns are 1-10-1 ATS in their last 12 games in week one. They have a lot of work to do and new things to learn, too, as the team has a new coaching staff with Pat Shurmur and Dick Jauron as the new defensive coordinator. Jauron is replacing Rob Ryan, who did what he could last season trying to mask a lot of flaws. In the end, the Browns finished last season No. 22 in total defense and No. 26 against the run. They are switching from a 3-4 to 4-3 defense and the personnel really doesn't look much better. The offensive line was a problem in preseason. Left guard Eric Steinbach is still nursing a back injury and out. Steinbach's absence enabled the Browns to force-feed rookie Jason Pinkston with the No. 1 unit. Pinkston has responded well enough for the Browns to commit to him to open the season, but right guard Shawn Lauvao played sparingly as a rookie, which means two untested guards are in the starting lineup. The Browns were moderately successful as a running team last year, but the new coach aired it out a lot in preseason, so there are philosophical changes on offense. The Browns are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite and when these division rivals met last season there were two dogfights, 23-20 (Browns) and 19-17 (Bengals). The Bengals are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five games in September. Cincy has won three of the last four meetings and the underdog is 7-1 ATS in their last eight meetings. The public is all over the Browns and that spells value on the Bengals here. Play the Bengals.