Thursday Night Football – Week 10 – Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens – Free Preview and Betting Prediction
In what will be an all AFC North edition of Thursday Night Football, the Browns head to M&T Bank Stadium to take on the Ravens. It’s one of the more lopsided primetime matchups (at least according to the odds) on this slate this year, as Cleveland is the only team in the NFL without a win.
Baltimore opened the as -9.5 home favorites. These odds were pushed to –10 for a while, but have now gone the other direction, with most bookmakers settling in on Ravens -8. As of this writing, BetOnline.ag’s odds are Browns +8 and Ravens -8 with -110 vig on both sides. Betting action on the game has been almost dead even on both sides.
The total is among the lowest of Week 10 but has risen slightly after opening at 44 points. About 60 percent of bets have come in on the over, which has pushed to the total to 45 at just about every online sportsbook.
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The Browns – Playing Well for 0-8 Team?
Week after week, Cleveland continues to go without a win. The Browns fell to 0-8 after losing to Dallas last week at FirstEnergy Stadium. They didn’t have much of a chance in the game, which produced a 24-10 first half deficit for the Browns. The Cowboys shut out the Browns for the rest of regulation, to win by a score of 35-10.
The Browns biggest problem has been their near expansion level defense. Offensively, they have gotten better this season and have been in a number of games down to the final possession, but have not been able to get a win. Quarterback Cody Kessler is someone they can develop, both Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman have emerged as young talents at receiver. The future, especially under new management, looks bright.
The defense will still be bad tonight. There’s not much hope there. However, wide receiver Corey Coleman returned from a broken hand his week, but per head coach, Hue Jackson, he should be in much better shape this week. Pryor was also limited with a hamstring injury this week, but is off the injury report as of Wednesday and will play with no limitations.
The Ravens – Leading the AFC North
Few would think the Ravens would be leading the AFC North a few weeks ago, but that’s exactly where things stand now. Baltimore moved their record to 4-4, after defeating the visiting Steelers in a low scoring 21-14 win. The Ravens and Steelers, both have identical records, but Baltimore is winning the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Health isn’t much of a concern for the Ravens this season, which is a huge positive, with so many teams dealing with injury issues. Steve Smith didn’t suffer any setbacks in his return last week. Kenneth Dixon also returned from injury and has carved out a role in the backfield alongside Terrance West.
Let’s remember these two teams did face off in Cleveland in Week 2. The Browns held a 20-12 halftime lead in that contest but still managed to lose the game by a final score of 25-20. However, Josh McCown was starting quarterback in that game, after Robert Griffin III was injured the week before.
I’ve always thought McCown to be the Browns best option at quarterback, but Kessler has been impressive in his development. The sharp side seems to be on the Browns in this spot, particularly considering line movement.
Defensively, the Ravens are playing well, but they haven’t exactly faced a murderer’s row of competition. Aside from the Raiders and Giants, their schedule is full of some of the league’s lowest-scoring offenses.
I do think Cleveland has the talent on offense to keep this game close. Their defense is a significant liability and will give up points, but offensively, they continue to be underrated. These AFC North matchups always seem to be close games, and this one should be no exception.
Pick: Browns +8