Week 2 of the NFL season kicks off tonight with an AFC North clash between the Bengals and Browns.
“Both teams had disappointing Week 1s in different ways,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “Cleveland got their butts kicked by their rival, and Cincinnati loses a heartbreaker on a tough call. So both teams are probably mentally down, but it’s so early in the season so it’s easier to bounce back.”
The Browns lost 38-6 to the Ravens in Baltimore after closing as 7.5-point underdogs. The Bengals dropped a tight 16-13 contest to the Chargers as 3-point home underdogs in No. 1 pick Joe Burrow’s NFL debut.
Now, each team will be looking to enter the win column on Thursday Night Football, which starts at 8:20 p.m. ET/5:20 p.m. PT.
“It’s an important matchup,” Bogdanovich said. “You don’t want to start 0-2. You don’t want to lose to a rival. With those stakes, I’m expecting a good game.”
The Browns are currently 6-point favorites (-260 moneyline) at William Hill hosting the Bengals tonight, with the total sitting at 44. Cleveland was originally 8-point chalk when William Hill released Week 2 odds back in May.
Many William Hill bettors, however, are siding with the underdog here.
The Bengals have captured 59% of the total number of tickets on all spread bets for this game, along with 72% of the total number of tickets and 55% of the total dollars wagered for all TNF moneyline bets. Cincinnati is currently priced at +220 to win this showdown outright.
The Browns have the advantage, though, when it comes to total dollars wagered on all spread bets for tonight at 60%. That includes the largest wager taken for this TNF battle thus far at William Hill, as one Nevada bettor placed $13,000 on Browns -5 (-130) for a total potential payout of $23,000. In fact, the four biggest bets as of now for this game at William Hill are all on Browns against the spread.
The total for this matchup was at 46 this past Sunday before falling to its current number of 44. Bettors have been split on that market, as the under has generated 51% of the total number of tickets while the over has drawn 52% of the total dollars wagered.