Green Bay Packers vs. Cleveland Browns Preview and Pick – Point Spread – Week 7

Note: If you’re
looking for the 2013 Week 7 matchup between these two teams, please go here:
Browns vs. Green Bay Packers Pick

Green Bay Packers (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Cleveland Browns (1-5 SU, 3-3
ATS), 1:00 p.m. EST, NFL Week 7, Sunday, October 25, 2009, Cleveland Browns
Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio, TV: FOX

by Badger of

Point Spread: Packers -7/Browns +7
Over/Under: 41.5

Its a safe bet that there will be more fans wearing green-n-gold in
the crowd at Cleveland Stadium on Sunday then there will be wearing
brown-n-orange when the Browns host the Green Bay Packers in an early
game on Fox.

After all, what reason do Browns fans have to go to the stadium these days? Quarterback controversies, a one-time franchise player (Braylon
Edwards) getting arrested and then traded away, an offense that cant
move the ball in the air or on the ground, and a defense that cant
seem to stop anybody lets just say its ugly in Cleveland these days.

The Browns stumbled to 1-5 on the season last week with a 27-14 loss
at Pittsburgh, but dont be confused by the score because the game
was never that close. In fact, if the Browns didnt have the best
return man in the game these days, Joshua Cribbs, it would have been
worse because Cribbs ran back a kickoff for a score in the loss.

Meanwhile, the Packers are one of the countrys most popular teams
and their fans are notorious for overtaking opposing teams stadiums
and negating their homefield advantage. Cleveland is a short drive
from Wisconsin, so expect the Packers contingent to be out in force
on Sunday.

On the field the Packers are coming off of a 26-0 victory over the
injury-depleted Detroit Lions last weekend, but even though it was a
shutout there were still plenty of warts for the Packers to take care
of after the game. Somehow they gave up five sacks to the Lions,
making it now 25 times this season that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been dropped. They were only 1-for-5 in the red zone and they also
led 23-0 at half and flipped it into cruise control in the second
half, so there are plenty of issues that Green Bay coach Mike
McCarthy will have to work on this week.

The over/under total is seeing line movement in the other direction
though, as it opened at 43 and has dropped like a rock all the way
down to 41.5 at most of the offshore books. The sportsbooks in Las
Vegas are still listing the total at 42.

But the point spread and total could already be off the board by the
time youre reading this because Cleveland sent 12 players home on
Wednesday with the flu, so who knows what kind of shape the locker
room will be in come Sunday.

Offensively this game is a complete mismatch on paper.

The Packers are in the top-10 in every offensive category with the
lone exception of rushing yards, where their 101.2 yards per game
average is ranked 19th overall. They also score at a strong clip,
with the 26 points per game average ranked 8th in the league.

Green Bays only problem on offense, and its a huge one, is
protecting the quarterback. With 25 sacks and numerous knockdowns the
offensive line is going to kill Rodgers one of these weeks. Starting
left tackle Chad Clifton is still battling an ankle injury too, so
the Packers may be forced to start rookie T.J. Lang on Rodgers blind
side this week, and thats enough to make anyone nervous.

The Browns offense not so good. After stumbling out of the gate
with Brady Quinn as their quarterback the Browns made a change to
Derek Anderson a few weeks back, but the results have not changed at
all. Cleveland is currently ranked 31st in total yards (239.8 ypg)
and passing yards (136.2 ypg), and their 11.5 points per game average
is 30th. Thats not going to get the job done in the NFL.

Anderson was 9-for-24 for 122 yards last week versus Pittsburgh, one
week after going just 2-for-11 for 22 yards against Buffalo, so its
hard to tell if the Browns offense is better with him behind center
or not. Bettors will tell you they like Anderson better though, as
the Browns have covered all three games he has started.

Defensively its a huge mismatch as well, as the Packers enter the
game ranked 8th in the league in yards allowed (298 ypg) and 6th in
points allowed (18.6 ppg), while the Browns come into the game dead-
last allowing 407.3 yards a game and 24.7 points per contest (26th).
It wont get better for the Browns either, as middle linebacker and
leading tackler DQwell Jackson is likely done for the season after
suffering a shoulder injury in the Steelers game.

These two have already faced each other once this season, but it was
in the preseason (a 17-0 win by Green Bay). As far as regular season
action is concerned, the last time they met was a 26-24 victory for
Cleveland back in 2005 when Trent Dilfer outplayed Brett Favre. The
Browns covered the 6-point spread as underdogs that day too. Their
only other regular season matchup was in 2001, a 30-7 victory for the
Packers as 7.5-point favorites.

Both games went over the total.

Even the betting trends favor the Pack in this game, since Green Bay
has been road warriors with a 15-6-1 ATS record in their last 22 road
games, while Cleveland is 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games in
Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Badgers Pick: Lets not forget that Green Bays three wins came
against St. Louis, Detroit and Chicago, not exactly the cream of the
league. But even so, its hard to not like the Packers in this game,
especially if a bunch of the Browns are still sick with the flu on
Sunday. If Cribbs is one of those players with the flu, then
Cleveland is screwed. Take Green Bay minus the 7 points.