NFL Picks – Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
They handcuffed the Bengals to the tune of 221 yards and forced five turnovers. It can be argued pretty successfully that Cincinnati has better weapons at its disposal.
Well, the question you have to ask coming into this Sunday’s action at M&T Bank Stadium is, if Andy Dalton and the Bengals couldn’t do any business against the Baltimore Ravens defense, what chance does DeShone Kizer of the Cleveland Browns have, as he is making his first NFL road start? We may not have the absolute answer, but we can try. This game begins at 1 PM ET on Sunday, & BetAnySports customers will have chance to stay involved in the action once it kicks off with Live Betting Ultra.
Last week’s effort on the part of the Baltimore stop unit was sublime. They handcuffed the Bengals to the tune of 221 yards and forced five turnovers. It can be argued pretty successfully that Cincinnati has better weapons at its disposal, and there is a Hue Jackson influence still present in their approach, Jackson now patrols the sidelines as head coach of these Browns, who played valiantly in losing a three-point decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend.
Baltimore’s dilemma is that their quarterback is not 100% healthy. Joe Flacco missed the entire pre-season, then started the opener and completed only nine passes. And he just lost a key offensive weapon to injury. Needless to say, this is not the most explosive offense in the National Football League.
In the odds at BetAnySports upon which these NFL picks will be based, the Ravens are laying some points:
Baltimore Ravens -7.5
Cleveland Browns +7.5
Over 38.5 points -110
Under 38.5 points -110
Eventually Kizer will be the kind of quarterback who can throw the ball down the field better than, say, Cody Kessler, who took care of the ball but was very predictable. But this is potentially a long afternoon for him. It is true that he has a capable ground-gainer in Isaiah Crowell, but Baltimore has one of the elite defensive fronts in pro football. The secondary intercepted Dalton four times last week, and it will be up to Dean Pees’ stop unit to fill the vacuum that could be left by an offense that may sputter.
Kizer is not going to frighten many teams with his corps of receivers, but he’ll have to get protection for his routes to develop. Joe Thomas is one of the best in the business at left tackle, and BetAnySports patrons are well aware of that. Cleveland has, by all accounts, addressed issues in the front line. Let’s see what Kizer can do to avoid the pass rush; he can get it done with his legs if he has to.
It isn’t that the Ravens don’t have weapons splitting out live. Mike Wallace is a big-play threat, for example. But there isn’t a lot of depth out there, and you have to wonder whether Flacco’s throwing mechanics have been affected by his back problems. And Baltimore is short at the running back spot as well; they have already lost Kenneth Dixon for the rest of the season and Danny Woodhead is going to be out of action for a while. This team scored that 20-0 shutout in the season’s opening week, but eleven of their games were decided by seven points or less in the 2016 season. So this points us in the direction of the “under” between a couple of offenses that will find points hard to come by.
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