Thursday night is upon us and we have a marquee matchup that pits AFC North foes against one another as the Baltimore Ravens host the Cleveland Browns. No coach can like having to prepare for an NFL game in such a short week, but the opponent being the Cleveland Browns makes things a little easier.
“I never liked it when the Thursday night game came out,” Reed told the Ravens’ official website. “It’s all about money. Like I said, it’s out of my hands.”
But an 0-3 opponent isn’t as worrisome but Cleveland has two other streaks that make this game interesting. The first is an 11 game losing streak against divisional opponents, and an 11 game road losing streak within the division. Those things make it tempting to think they’re due for a victory but I don’t know that it would happen against the Ravens.
The Browns’ rookie quarterback has struggled so far this season with both interceptions and sacks. Trent Richardson unfortunately has the task of taking on one of the best defenses against the rush. The Ravens have held opponents to 3.3 yards per carry, one of the best marks in the league. The Browns unfortunately are without two of their top passing threats putting the burden on Richardson for a breakout game.
To me it seems like the Ravens will cruise to an easy victory in this one. Ray Rice is coming off his first 100 yard game of the season and is getting the hang of things. Joe Flacco leads a rejuvenated passing attack. The question mark is Torrey Smith who has been dealing with the death of his brother. It didn’t slow him down last week was he scored 2 touchdowns.
The short turn around though I think will keep this game close as that benefits parity. A 12 point spread is a large spread in the NFL and Cleveland could easily cover that with even a 10 point loss. The over/under of the game is 43.5, the Browns however have been held to 11.4 points per game in their losing streak to the Ravens. That doesn’t bode well for the over, that puts the burden on the Ravens to score 33 points in the game.
The Browns have also only scored 57 points in the first 3 weeks of the season, and missing two passing targets in tight end Alex Smith and wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, doesn’t seem like things will be easier for the Browns.
Browns to cover the spread but I’m also taking the under.
I predict Browns 10 Ravens 17.
The Computer sees it break down like this:
- The Ravens are 2-5-0 ATS and 6-1 SU as 7+ home favorites against Cleveland.
- Cleveland will be thirsty for their first win particularly against their hated rivals.
- This season, greater than one TD dogs are 5-2 ATS. The public is looking to pile on the home favorite after they knocked off the Patriots.
- After week 3, winless dogs are 52-30-3 (+3.6 points per game, 65%) if the other team is above .500 and just played at home.
- The home team on a Thursday that is off of a win is 21-9-0 (+6.2 ppg) SU since 2006 (18-11-1 ATS).
- The Browns are 3-22-0 (-10.2 ppg) SU since 2008 in division games. That’s 7-5-1 ATS though as road division dogs (1-12-0 SU).
- The Browns have kept all their games close: -1 pt. against Philly, -7 pts. against Cincinatti, and -10 points against Buffalo. Maybe a bit of overkill on the line?
The line has been as high as 13, but has moved back towards 12 with some modest betting on the Browns. On primetime TV typically the public will always like the Favorite and the over, but more so after the win over the Pats. We like betting against the public on the big line for this matchup.
The computer predicts: Browns 13 Ravens 23.
We actually agree which should make you maybe more confident in this play.
1 Unit Cleveland +12 ($11 to return $21)
0.5 Units Bal/Cle Under 43.5 ($5.50 to return $10.50)
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“ATS” – “Against the Spread” – To win, the team that “covers” the spread is the team that beats the imaginary “head start” given to the stronger team.
Eg. The Cowboys are a 7 point favorite against the Redskins – If you bet the Cowboys, they must win by MORE than 7 points, if you bet the Redskins, they must Win outright, OR Lose by LESS than 7 points. If the Cowboys win by 7, all bets are returned, and is known as a “Push”
“Fading” = Betting against
“Teasers” allow you to “buy” points on the sides that you like, and gain a bit more edge, but lose odds. Typically Teasers are played from anywhere from 2-8 games, and are teased from anywhere between 6-10 points.
“ROI” – Return on Investment – Given in Percentage
“SU” – Straight Up Winner
“Total” – In an “Over/Under” or “Total” Bet – you pick whether or not the combined score of BOTH teams are higher (Over) or lower (Under) than the line given.
“Unit” – Whatever given value one bets on average on a game. Used to show profit and loss a the end of a season. (See ROI)
“The Computer” – A powerful tool used to predict outcomes to sporting events. .
“Public” – The “general” consensus of the common folk who essentially dictate the price of the two teams once the odds are set. Note***The Pubic rarely wins.