Monday Night Football Predictions Week 14: Ravens at Browns
Don’t look now, but we are running hot. We’ve correctly predicted the last six Monday Night Football games, including both games last week when we took Washington plus the points and Buffalo on the moneyline. This week, we try to extend our winning streak to seven games as we have to choose from a very pivotal game in the AFC North between the Ravens and the Browns. Both of these teams come into this game having won their last game, but it’s the Browns who are among the hottest teams in the league, having won four straight contests. In fact, in classic 2020 fashion, the Browns actually had their Week 15 games against the Giants flexed into Sunday Night Football at the expense of “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys. If that doesn’t give you an indication of how weird 2020 has been, nothing else will.
This game between the Ravens and Browns has major playoff implications. And with only four weeks left in the regular season, both teams can ill-afford a bad performance. So, who do we trust more? If you keep reading, I’ll let you know.
Ravens at Browns Betting Story Lines
The Ravens snapped their three-game losing streak on Tuesday with a win against the lowly Cowboys. For a while, it looked like the Cowboys would hang around and potentially get an upset win, or even cover the spread, but three missed Dallas field goals and some shoddy run defense allowed the Ravens to get back in the win column and hopefully gain some momentum heading into this divisional showdown. The Ravens racked up 401 yards against a bad Cowboys defense, with 294 coming by way of the run. Remember, Dallas has the 32nd-ranked run defense in the league, so that result was to be expected. What I’m interested to find out is if the Ravens can produce similar results against a Browns’ defensive unit that ranks eighth against the run – giving up just 104.3 yards per game. I believe, like most NFL games, that whoever wins the line of scrimmage – in this case, the Ravens offensive line vs. the Browns front seven – will win the game. When the Ravens are forced to throw the ball as their main source of offense, they struggle. Lamar Jackson has made strides as a passer, but I’m sure everyone who roots for the black and purple would prefer to see him successfully run the option and not have him drop back to pass 25+ times.
As for the Browns, this is perhaps the biggest game they’ve been a part of in quite some time. With a win here, they could further cement their status as a playoff team with a little help from elsewhere. The Browns are rolling right now, having won four straight games, including last week against the Titans. The final score line suggests the game was closer than it was. However, make no mistakes about it, the Browns were up 38-7 before coasting home the rest of the way. The offense has really taken steps forward this season, buoyed by a second-ranked rushing attack. It’ll be interesting to see which avenue the Browns choose to go against the Ravens, who rank 14th in passing yards allowed and 13th in rushing yards allowed (not great, but not poor).
Ravens at Browns Betting Odds and Trends
This game opened up as Ravens -3, but most sportsbooks are now offering the Ravens -2.5 (-110) with some -2’s out there while the total dropped a point from 48 to 47. On the moneyline, the Ravens are between -125 to -130, while the Browns are between +115 to +120. If you are feeling crazy, the alternate lines offer up plenty of value as the Ravens on the alternate lines are -12.5 (+305), -9.5 (+235) or you can take Cleveland by -3.5 for a solid +160. payout. The Ravens are 6-6 ATS after covering the spread on Tuesday vs the Cowboys. The Ravens come into this game on a 6-1 ATS run vs the AFC North and an 11-5 ATS run on Monday Night Football. Cleveland is 5-7 ATS after beating the Titans on Sunday. They come into this game on a 1-5 ATS run in their last six vs divisional foes and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 vs the Ravens
Ravens at Browns Football Betting Predictions
For all intents and purposes, this game should be extremely entertaining and fun to watch. You have two quarterbacks with superstar potential going toe-to-toe, and you have two teams that are desperately trying to make the playoffs and give themselves a shot at making a run to the Lombardi Trophy. The Ravens were one of the best teams in the league last season, and this year they’ve failed to duplicate that success. The Browns have been perennial losers, and this year seems like it could be their year to crack the postseason. So, who do we trust more? As I mentioned, this game is going to be won in the trenches, and I think Cleveland’s front seven will be able to slow down the Ravens rushing attack, thus leaving them no options but to air the ball out. That won’t do them any good as Jackson as a passer is not nearly as good as Jackson as a runner. Cleveland has too many weapons for the Ravens’ defense to account for, and they have more big-play potential with Mayfield slinging the rock. I expect the Browns to jump out to an early lead of 10+ points and force the Ravens to deviate from their game plan of running the football. I’ll take the points with the Browns, but I think they win this game outright.
Play: Cleveland ML +115
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