Buffalo Bills (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-2 SU, 1-0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: 1:00 PM ET, September 23, 2012
Where: Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Buf -3/Cle +3
Over/Under Total: 43.5
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After really struggling in their pro debuts the Cleveland Browns 2 first round draft picks of Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson played pretty well even though Cleveland lost to the Bengals. Hey, you never know, maybe there is hope in Cleveland. The Buffalo Bills got in the W column last week and while C.J. Spiller is off to a fast start leading the league in rushing yards the Buffalo defense has really struggled.
last week the Bills were at home and beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-17 and the Browns were on the road and lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 34-27.
Hope is not a word that has been associated with the Browns for the last several seasons, but after their 2 rookies played well against the Bengals that may change. Weeden got over his horrible debut by passing for 322 yards and 2 TD in the loss to Cincy. He looked good even though the Browns have a pretty weak WR corps. He will have a decent game, but not a big one, as the Bills had 5 sacks last week and they will come after the rookie QB from the get go.
Richardson had his first 100+ rushing game in the Cincy loss, but he will not get his 2nd one this week. The Bills have struggled to defend the run, ranked 24th in the league, but they have not given up over 100 yards to a single back and that will be the case in this game.
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Bills' RB C.J. Spiller is off to a blazing start this season leading the league in rushing yards and he galloped for 123 yards last week averaging a legit 8.2 yards per carry. The Browns held Cincy's run game in check, but allowed over 100 yards on the ground to LeSean McCoy in their season opener. The Browns front line D will see Spiller early and often and he will rush for over 100 yards for the 3rd straight game.
The Browns pass defense ranks 28th in the league and Cincy QB Andy Dalton torched them last week. That has to be a good feeling for Bills' QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and while the Harvard grad only had 178 passing yards last week he did have 2 TD and 0 INT. He will not have a big game, but play well since Spiller will get a ton of action. On top of that Cleveland is still without CB Joe Haden because of suspension and the secondary is really banged up.
The betting trends for this AFC match up do not look good for the Bills, as they are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games and 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 road games. On top of that they covered last week and are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win. OK yeah, the Browns have been one of the worst teams in the league for the last couple of seasons, but they are still 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games. In a couple of very interesting betting trends Buffalo has an O/U record of 5-0 in their last 5 games and Cleveland has an O/U record of 0-6 in their last 6 home games.
Jason's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This is a rough spot for the Bills. They don't have chit for defense and their going into Cleveland against a Browns team that is building confidence. The Bills really have no answer for Trent Richardson. He'll get some big runs and it'll force the defense to respect the run. Then Weeden, a marginal QB at best, will look good finding open targets, leading to easy scores. Trent Richardson is real deal folks. I like the Browns to come out on top in a high scoring game between to teams that will go back to being mediocre after looking good against each other.
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