Players Every NFL Betting Fan Should Watch During Week 9 TNF
The coming week of NFL betting action kicks off with a bang. Week 9’s opener this week comes Thursday as the Cleveland Browns (2-6) travel to Cincinnati (7-0). The Bengals have a commanding 3.5 game lead over Pittsburgh after beating them in Week 8. The Browns are coming off a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Here is a look at some of the key players that will likely make the difference in this matchup.
Johnny Manziel (Cleveland Browns, QB)
Heisman winner and former Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has been named the starter for the Cleveland Browns in Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Josh McCown suffered a painful rib injury during Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, a situation that opened the door for Manziel to start his second game of the season and the fourth of his professional career. In the three games he has started this season, “Johnny Football” has completed 28 of 50 passes for 393 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception.
“On the short week, we realized that Josh just wasn’t going to be able to get to the point where he could go. Johnny has worked hard to prepare himself. He is excited about his opportunity and we are all looking forward to the challenge.” Browns coach Mike Pettine said in a statement.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 4, 2015
Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals, QB)
Thursday night’s game could cement Bengals’ Andy Dalton’s as a true MVP candidate. Dalton did not play up to his usual 2015 standard against the Steelers, but his team bailed him out, scoring their 7 straight victory of the season. He went 23 for 38 for 231 yards and a score – but also threw two picks. For most of the season, he has done a better job of managing turnovers. The comeback drive, which Dalton managed artfully, was more of a return to the standard of play that he has shown over the course of the season.
Isaiah Crowell (Cleveland, RB)
Crowell and the rest of the Browns’ rushing game was one reason why the Cardinals were able to win so handily. He had 10 attempts for a paltry 14 yards. He did catch one pass for 12 yards. This was Crowell’s third consecutive poor performance carrying the ball. Crowell, who has rushed 18 times for 23 yards over the last two games, has failed to reach 50 rushing yards in four consecutive games, his season-high is just 72 and the last time he rushed for a touchdown was in Week 2. Up next is a tough Week 9 trip to face the 7-0 Bengals.
Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill (Cincinnati, RB)
The Bengals use a two-headed running attack. In Week 8, Hill carried the ball 15 times for 60 yards, while Bernard only got one carry for a dozen yards. Bernard did pull in two catches for 22 yards, while Hill only had one catch (8 yards). They both make strong flex backs in fantasy lineups, and they are an essential part fo the Bengals’ renaissance this season.
Gary Barnidge (Cleveland, TE)
If anyone is getting rave reviews in the press right now in Cleveland, it’s Barnidge. In Week 8, he pulled in seven balls for 53 yards and a score. However, the fact that the Browns’ offensive attack is overall so awful means that Barnidge is not getting nearly the exposure he would be getting elsewhere in the NFL. He’s giving the Browns all he can, but the Browns may not be prepared for the gifts he is giving them.
A.J. Green (Cincinnati, WR)
Against the Steelers, Green had a terrific game, grabbing 11 balls for 118 yards and a score. That was a tremendous improvement from the Buffalo game, when he only caught four balls for 36 yards.
In this game, expect the Bengals to win, and win big, at home. Yes, Andy Dalton does have that reputation for folding in night games, but this has been a breakout season, so I anticipate a big game as the Bengals look to get their offense back in gear after the Steeler challenge.