The second week of the NFL season kicks off Thursday night in an AFC North showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.
The Browns are favored in their home opener. If picking a side between these two 0-1 opponents is not in the cards for you, here is a look at some favorable game props courtesy of the FanDuel SportsBook.
Baker Mayfield Over 239.5 Passing Yards
The Browns quarterback averaged 239.2 passing yards per game last season. Although Mayfield threw for 189 yards in week one against the Baltimore Ravens, don’t let it discourage you from his passing yards prop in Week 2. Last year, the Tennessee Titans beat the Browns 43-13 the first week of the season. Cleveland fought back in week two, with Mayfield completing 19 of 35 passes for 325 passing yards and one touchdown versus the Jets.
The Bengals defense ranked in the bottom ten last season. Cleveland’s offense definitely didn’t click last week, putting up just six points versus Baltimore.
However, based on Mayfield’s 2019 statistics, he only had back-to-back games under 200 passing yards once last year. It was in the Browns back-to-back with the Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers. The second game Mayfield had versus the Bengals, he threw for 279 yards completing 12-of-27 passes and three touchdowns.
Nick Chubb Over 68.5 Rushing Yards
Once last week’s game between the Ravens and Browns got out of hand, Browns running back Kareem Hunt entered the game in place of Nick Chubb. Chubb ran for 60 yards on 10 carries in his season debut. I don’t see that happening again this week against the Bengals. This is a winnable game at home against a rookie quarterback in Joe Burrow.
Defending the ground game was the Bengals’ Achilles heel last year, with Cincinnati being the worst defense against the run in the NFL, allowing 148.9 rushing yards per game. Since Chubb was just eight rushing yards away from 68.5 rushing yards last week, during a blowout, I think the Browns find a way to get their number one back going this week.
Joe Mixon Over 71.5 Rushing Yards
Last season, Joe Mixon owned the Browns defense. In the first game of this matchup last year, Mixon rushed for 146 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown. In game two, Mixon had 26 carries for 162 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Cleveland’s defense against the run ranked third-worst in the NFL in 2019, giving up an average of 144.7 rushing yards per game.
I would also lean towards Mixon’s rushing/receiving prop. He only had one reception for two yards last week versus the Los Angeles Chargers. That’s below par for the dual-threat back who averaged close to 18 receiving yards per game last season. After signing a four-year $48 million contract this offseason, I expect Mixon to be more involved in the passing game going forward.
AJ Green Over 53.5 Receiving Yards
Cincinnati got their Pro Bowl wide receiver back from a left ankle injury this season. He signed a one-year, $18.1 million contract with the Bengals for 2020, but will become an unrestricted free agent in 2021. Green has to start working for a contract by proving the injuries are a thing of the past, and this is the perfect spot to start.
Last week, the Browns secondary allowed Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown to have five receptions for 101 yards. In fact, three different Ravens receivers had over 53.5 receiving yards in the Browns 38-6 week one loss. The Bengals should have at least one receiver hit over this number, and I think their No. 1 wide receiver is the man for the job.
Green had a decent first game back with five catches for 51 yards. Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow targeted Green a team-high nine times in the game. The Browns haven’t faced Green since 2017. As long as he’s healthy, the former Pro Bowler is in a good buy-low spot with 53.5 receiving yards as he averages 80 yards per game in his career.