Indianapolis Colts (8-4 SU, 9-3 ATS) vs. Cleveland Browns (7-5 SU, 6-4-2 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date and Time: Sunday, December 7, 1:00pm EST
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium - Cleveland, OH
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: IND -4.5/CLE +4.5
Over/Under Total: 50
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This Sunday, we have an AFC showdown that could have huge playoff implications when the Indianapolis Colts take on the Cleveland Browns. Indy was one of my preseason picks to compete for the AFC title, while Cleveland has been a pleasant surprise in 2014. Indianapolis sits at 8-4 overall and in first place in the AFC South division. The Cleveland Browns are 7-5 and are in 2nd place in the AFC North. Both teams are hoping to make some noise in the playoffs and this showdown would be a huge win and/or loss for both teams.
Indianapolis has gone 8-2 since their 0-2 start in 2014. The Colts have looked good lately, and their only loss in the last few weeks came to the hot New England Patriots. I still consider the Colts a contender for the AFC title, and I like this team a lot. The Colts open as a 4.5 point fave on the road, and the total points have been set at 50 combined. Against the spread this year, Indy has gone 9-3 against the spread, while the Browns are sitting at 6-4-2. On the surface, one would think that the Colts would blow the Browns out, but lets not be so quick to that conclusion. I would not be surprised with any result in this game.
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For the Cleveland Browns, the big question this week is “who will start at quarterback?” Will it be the usual Brian Hoyer, or will they make the lead to Johnny Manziel? In my opinion, their best bet is to stick with Hoyer since he has got you to this point so far, but the Cleveland fans seem to want Manziel…which is another example of how stupid fans can be. Anyone who has played or knows the game of football, knows that Manziel is not an NFL caliber starting QB. He may be exciting, but that is as far as it goes. This kid will not be a winner. Maybe I am being too hard on him, and maybe I am wrong, I just do not see it. If Cleveland plans on winning this game, then whoever does play QB, will need to play lights out. The Colts are going to score points, they always do. Not only will the Browns need to keep pace, but they also cannot turn the ball over and give the Colts easy scores.
The Colts seem to be getting better and better as the season goes on. Andrew Luck is slowly becoming one of the top quarterbacks in all of the NFL. Averaging over 325 yards per game, Andrew Luck is the NFL’s top passer. With over 4,000 yards and 34 touchdown passes, Luck is not only leading this team on a potential AFC title run, he is making a case for himself as NFL MVP. Not only do the Colts pass the ball better than any other team in the NFL, they are also ranked in the upper half of the league in rushing yards. Defensively, the Colts are playing pretty against the run, but rank just 25th in the NFL in pass defense. If the Colts want to win this road game, and cover the 4.5, they will need to play defense. I have faith that Indy will score, but they do not want this game becoming a shootout.
This is a really tough game to predict seeing as how the Browns have the QB issues going. Cleveland has overachieved all season, and I would not be surprised if they won this game, but I think it is just bad timing. I like Indianapolis to go into Cleveland and get a pretty easy victory. I like the Colts to win this game 27-21 and get their 9th win and cover the spread for the 10th time this season.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: PICK THE COLTS -4.5!