Cleveland Browns (3-4 SU 1-4-2 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (5-3 SU 4-3-1 ATS) Week 9 NFL Football, Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX, 1 PM ET Sunday November 6, 2011 on CBS
by Jason Green, Professional Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Clev +11/HOU -11
Over/Under Total: 41
The Houston Texans have gotten over their 2-game losing streak by winning their last 2 games and they are in first place in the AFC South. Their offense has played well and Adrian Foster has seemed to find his groove and will be facing a struggling Cleveland Browns run defense that ranks 26th in the league. The Browns have lost 2 of their last 3 games and they are struggling on the offensive end of the field only averaging 11 ppg in their last 3 games.
Cleveland is only 3-4 on the season and still in the AFC North race even though they are in last place in the division, However, their 2 wins have come against the winless teams of the Colts and the Dolphins and their other win came against the 2-5 Seahawks.
This last Sunday the Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-14 in an AFC South match up while the Browns lost to the San Francisco 49ers 20-10.
The Browns will have to come up big on defense in order to pull off the upset, as not only is their offense struggling, but they lack many, if any, big play guys.
Their main weapon is QB Colt McCoy, who played well in the SF game passing for 241 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT and he also rushed for 30 yards. His WR corps is not very good and the RB position is a mess,
RB Peyton Hillis is day-to-day with a hamstring injury and even when he has been in he has only averaged 3.5 yards per carry. RB Montario Hardesty leads the Browns in rushing, but that is no big thing, as he only has 244 rushing yards on the season leading the Browns and their 29th ranked rushing offense. He was injured in the SF game and may not play this Sunday. If these guys cannot go the Browns may have to lean on RB Chris Ogbonnaya, who has a grand total of 52 rushing yards this season.
Texans and defense? Yeah, not words that have gone together in the last few seasons, but this season that has changed with the leagues 5th ranked pass defense and 6th ranked run defense. In the JAX win Houston held Maurice Jones-Drew to only 65 yards averaging 3.5 yards per carry, so whoever is in the backfield for the Browns will not be raking up many yards on the ground.
Texans’ QB Matt Schaub has been solid in the last 2 games and this is without his main target of Andre Johnson, who may come back for this game after missing a few with a hamstring injury. Schaub will be facing a Cleveland pass defense that ranks 2nd in the league, but he will still play well.
One player that will have a big game is Adrian Foster, who has rushed for over 110 yards in each of his last 2 games. The Browns’ run defense has really struggled this season and they rank 26th in the league giving up an average of 127.3 yards per game. Last week the Browns allowed 49ers’ RB Frank Gore to rush for 134 yards and they will not be able to keep Foster from having a big game on the ground.
Cleveland is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games, 1-8-2 ATS in their last 11 games overall, and has an Under record of 5-1 in their last 6 road games.
Houston is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite, e 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 home games, and has an Under record of 4-0 in their last 4 home games.
The last 5 times these 2 AFC teams have faced each other the posted total has gone Under every time.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Browns have failed to cover the spread in their last 5 games facing teams with a winning record and that trend will continue this Sunday in the Lone Star State. McCoy cannot do it all and there is no way Cleveland can keep Foster in check. Take the Texans to win this game and cover the 11-point spread.
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