Cleveland Browns(1-5 SU,2-3-1 ATS)at New Orleans Saints(4-2 SU,2-4 ATS), Week7 NFL, 1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, October 24, 2010, Louisiana Superdome (Sportexe Momentum Turf), New Orleans, La.
by Jeff Hochman of JHSportsline.com
Betting Odds: Clev +12.5/N.O. -12.5
Over/Under Total: 43
Colt McCoy is expected to make his second consecutive start when the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints meet in this Inter-conference match-up down in the “Big Easy”.
It was not pretty for the ClevelandBrowns last week against the surging Pittsburgh Steelers. Cleveland lost 28-10, as 14-point road underdogs. They played the Steelers close in the first half, but the second and third quarters were dominated by Pittsburgh.
Ben Roethlisberger, cheered loudly during his first game in 9 1/2 months, returned from his four-game suspension to throw three touchdown passes, and the Steelers shut down a Browns’ offense that was missing several key starters. Colt McCoy (23 of 33, 281 yards one TD, two picks) didn’t look overwhelmed in his first NFL start, but he played with a depleted cast after JamesHarrison sidelined wide receivers’ Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi with head injuries during the second quarter. He wasalso sacked five times and got knocked down on 10 different occasions.
New Orleans had very little trouble with fellow NFC South rival Tampa Bay, as they cruised to an easy 31-6 victory as4-point road underdogs. The Saints and Bucs split their two meetingslast year, but it was the Saints who sent an early message with a convincing win. Drew Brees threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns, and little known running back Chris Ivory had158 yards rushing toset the tone for a dominating performance that lifted the Saints into a tie for first place in the NFC South.
The Saints began the gamenext to last in the NFL in rushing, averaging 75.6 yards per game. A big reason have been injuries to Reggie Bush andPierre Tomas. ChrisIvory had not been much of a factor, gaining only119 yards through the first five weeks of the season. Look for him to be a factor in this game against a Browns’ defense thatis allowing 120 yards rushing per game.
The Cleveland Browns’ defense has not been horrible thisseason, but their inept offense has left them on the field more than most defenses. And now they are dealing with numerous injuries that this team can not afford to lose. Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi have been ruledout for this game. Those are two key receivers that will hurt the offense and special teams.
The free wheeling New Orleans Saints’ defensethat Gregg Williams employs created a lot of takeaways last season, but it has been a struggle for the most part this season. A few key injuries for the New Orleans Saints’ secondary have slowed them, but they are still good enough to handle adepleted Cleveland Browns’ offense. I don’t see how the Browns will be able to generate anything on offense. A rookie quarterback making his first road start indoors will have this Saints’ defense licking their chops.
The Saints aredouble digitfavorites at home against the Browns, showing that experts believe New Orleans is back after a close game with Carolina and aloss at Arizona. The Saints’ passingoffense ranks fifth in the league, while the Browns’ secondary ranks amongst the bottom third of the league.
Look for Peyton Hillis to test a run defense that is giving up 109 yards per game. New Orleans has given up hugechunks of rushing yards right up the middle.The Browns will look to control the clock while taking some pressure off of their rookie signal caller.
This will be the first match-up since the 2006 season that saw the New Orleans Saints posta 19-14 victory as 3-point road underdogs. The Browns come into the Superdome with a 1-5 SUrecord.
This is Clevelands fourth road game of this season. WeekOne saw the Browns drop a 17-14 game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a3-point road underdogs. Two weeks later they journeyed into Baltimore and dropped a 24-17 contest as a 12.5-point road underdogs. Last week was the loss at Pittsburgh, and now they will travel to New Orleans for its second straight road game.
Cleveland is 1-9 SU and 3-6 ATSwhen playing the NFC Conference. New Orleans is 8-1 SU and 9-0 ATS when playing the AFC Conference.
Jeff’sPick to Cover the Point Spread: New Orleans Saints -12.5.
I am not a fan of laying double digit points in the NFL, but could never back this Browns’ team in this spot. Drew Brees has passed for 1,673 yards while completing 71% of his passes.Look for the Saints to ridelast week’s momentum win to another victory in front of the home fans. Light play!