Baltimore Ravens (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) at Cleveland Browns (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 1:00 PM EST
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
by Keith, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BAL -7/CLE +7
Over/Under Total: 43.5
With one week in the books, the Cleveland Browns (0-1) and the Baltimore Ravens (1-0) will square off in AFC North divisional clash at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio with a 1:00 PM scheduled kick-off. The game is set to be aired on CBS with regional coverage. The Browns come in off a bitter loss in Week One, when they were demolished by Philadelphia 29-10 as a four-point pooch. Conversely, the Ravens came out on top in their opening game by a touchdown minus an extra point at home against the Buffalo Bills, winning 13-7.
A rivalry of the old Cleveland Browns for the expansion era franchise created to replace them when they moved to Baltimore, the Ravens have dominated this series over the last decade. At one point, the Ravens had won 11 games in a row against the Brownies before the Browns would finally get one in 2013. Nevertheless in two of the last five meetings, Cleveland has picked up a W against the Ravens with four of the last five contests being settled by six points or less.
After game one, its hard to deduce what to expect from either of these two teams. For the Ravens, Justin Forsett was not the fantasy football darling that captured many hearts two years ago. The same could have been said for the Bills’ Sammy Watkins as both players did not eclipse fifty yards in either of their specialties. From this it is hard to decipher whether or not it was the defenses playing superior, the offenses sputtering or a combination of the both. Baltimore allowed just 160 yards of total offense. Nevertheless, six points is a dangerous amount to lay in light of this. There are many reasons to lay the Browns. The Browns continue to struggle with their woes at quarterback. When Cleveland booked the services of Robert Griffin III, they had some fantastic expectations. Against Philadelphia, RG3 only threw for 190 yards and in steps Josh McCown who may be an upgrade. Josh Gordon was nothing more than a phantom name as Cleveland’s leading receiver was rookie Corey Coleman who picked up 63 yards. On the contrary, Cleveland seemed to have a lack of defense as the Dogs gave up 403 yards to Philadelphia. Cleveland has everything going wrong for them which makes Baltimore a hard sell after defeating a .500 team in 2015. Nevertheless, with all these considerations made this would be the perfect time to take Cleveland and lay Baltimore. The stocks in both teams are heading in opposite directions and the nature of sports betting typically is buying low and selling high. In this scenario, the Browns would be the team that fits the profile for this narrative.
We are going to play this one from a reactionary perspective. Cleveland lost against the spread in Week One as a pooch, Baltimore won against the spread as a favorite. Cleveland was on the road in Philly but now they get a chance to take on a divisional rival at home in front of a raucous fan base. Dubbed “The Dawg Pound”, The Browns are known for a robust home field advantage that has propelled them to punch above their weight when they are in Cleveland. Despite the market opening in similar style to Week One, immediate action has pushed this line up to nearly a touchdown being spotted to the Browns at home. Baltimore may have won in Week One but as we have highlighted they didn’t do so impressively. Two field goals were the difference maker in an opening game that only saw twenty points scored. While Cleveland may have been on the losing end of things, Philadelphia’s offense ignited and the Browns simply had no answer. Nevertheless both Baltimore and Buffalo’s offenses both looked maligned in their season openers which once again makes the proposition of a team spotting nearly a touchdown with a lackluster offense seeming like a very truculent play indeed. Coupling home field advantage with a fade of a potential public overreaction, we won’t be surprised if we can get a full touchdown for this play by kick-off. Value is all over Cleveland.
KEITH’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: CLEVELAND +7
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