Cleveland Browns (3-6) +4.5, 42 O/U at Buffalo Bills (5-4) -4.5, 42
O/U, Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, N.Y., 8:30 PM Eastern, Monday, ESPN
by Badger of Predictem.com
Two teams down on their luck and desperate to get back on the winning track square off on Monday Night Football this week, when the
Cleveland Browns road trip to Ralph Wilson Stadium to take on the
Buffalo Bills in an AFC gridiron tilt on ESPN.
At 3-6, the Browns are in full-fledged panic mode now. Last week they
switched quarterbacks and Brady Quinn certainly sparked the offense
with 239 yards passing and two touchdowns, but the defense allowed
Denvers Jay Cutler to throw three fourth-quarter touchdowns to allow
the Broncos to come from behind and steal a 34-30 win from the Browns.
Then, word leaked from the looker room over the weekend that some
veterans are starting to question if certain players quit in the
last game. Running back Jamal Lewis was one of the most vocal all
week, but either way the Browns are now 1-3 in their last four games
and the situation is looking bleaker every week.
Buffalo is also licking their wounds, as the Bills have lost three in
a row and four out of their last five games to essentially give back
their fantastic 4-0 start. Last week the Bills sputtered and lost a
grinder on the road at New England, 20-10. What makes the three-game
losing streak worse is that it came against their own AFC East
Division, as they have lost to Miami, the Jets and Patriots.
Oddsmakers opened the MNF contest with Buffalo as 5.5-point
favorites, but early money on Cleveland has dropped the point spread
to 4.5-points at most bookies. The over/under total opened at 43
and has also adjusted down to 42 at the offshore sportsbooks rather
Either way, keep an eye on this game because there is a chance of
nasty Buffalo weather playing its part, which is why the game is
currently off the board at a few offshore books (5Dimes.com and SportsInteraction) and the Hard Rock in Las Vegas.
As mentioned, the Browns offense looked solid under the controls of
Quinn. Tight end Kellen Winslow reemerged as a go-to receiver with
two touchdowns, and for the most part the Browns looked like they had
made the right call in going with the second-year pro out of Notre Dame.
When you think of the Bills offense you think of running back
Marshawn Lynch pounding the ball on the ground. Well, the Bills own
the leagues 28th-ranked rushing attack (90 ypg) and Lynch and the
running game has failed to get going during the long losing streak.
In the four games the Bills have lost, Lynch has been held to 46, 16,
61 and 55 yards, respectively, and quarterback Trent Edwards has been
inconsistent and banged up at the same time.
Also as mentioned, the Browns defense has been a sieve lately. The
Broncos passed for 441 yards last week and had over 550 total yards
in the game. Two weeks ago they gave up over 425 yards to the
Baltimore Ravens, so to say they are slumping would be an
Buffalos defense has also slumped lately, allowing 23 points per game during the losing streak, a few points higher than their season
average of 21 (13th in NFL). Head coach Dick Jauron has relied on the
defense to carry its weak offense all season, and the past few weeks
it has caught up to the Bills on the scoreboard.
Cleveland won this same matchup last season, beating the Bills 9-0
late in December as 4-point favorites at home in Cleveland. These two
have played three head-to-head games since 2004, and the Browns are
2-1 both SU and ATS.
Neither team has been worth betting on this season, as the Browns at 4-5 ATS record is slightly ahead of the Bills 4-5 ATS mark, but
neither wins you money. However, the Bills are 3-1 at home this
season and are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The Browns also have a solid betting trend in their favor, as they
are 17-7 ATS in their last 24 games overall. The under also looks to
be a solid play, as it is 6-1 in the Browns last seven road games and
also 5-1-1 in the Bills last seven games versus an AFC opponent.
Badgers Pick: Take the Browns and the points!