Some interesting trends could play into Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens’ matchup against the winless Cleveland Browns.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Baltimore is listed as the 10-point favorite against Cleveland with a 45 total in the Thursday Night Football betting matchup. The Ravens are the -480 favorite on the moneyline, with the Browns at a tempting +340.
The Ravens are 4-4 straight-up and 3-5 against the spread at the midpoint of the season, good for a share of the AFC North lead. Baltimore looked solid in defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, but is 1-7 SU in their last eight games after winning as an underdog.
Quarterback Joe Flacco has regressed with more interceptions than touchdown passes, but he is facing a Browns defense that just became the first team since the AFL-NFL merger to allow 25 or more points in their first nine games of the season.
Limiting Cleveland’s chances through some time-consuming drives might help Baltimore wrap up a win early. Leading rusher Terrance West’s backup, Kenneth Dixon (chest contusion), could be a game-time decision. If Baltimore doesn’t get untracked, it could have a hard time breaking a trend of being 0-5-1 ATS in their last six home games at MT&T Bank Stadium.
The Browns, who are 0-9 SU and 2-7 ATS, need a win to avoid the worst start in franchise history. Cleveland is 5-1 ATS in its last six visits to Baltimore and is also 5-1 ATS in its last six Thursday games.
Quarterback Cody Kessler and his primary targets, WR Corey Coleman and WR Terrelle Pryor, will have a tough matchup against Baltimore’s No. 2-ranked defense, where Tavon Young has also emerged as a pass defender to complement CB Jimmy Smith. The Ravens tackle well on short passes and Kessler has struggled hitting downfield throws, so it might be a long night.
The Ravens have ILB C.J. Mosley back and they are stouter with him in the middle of their defense. Cleveland, with RB Isaiah Crowell, has the third-most efficient rushing attack at 4.8 yards per carry, but that’s matched by the Ravens’ run defense being third-best with 3.3 yards per carry allowed. The Browns also need to avoid falling behind in order to be able to utilize the ground game.
The total has gone under in four of the Browns’ last five games on the road against the Ravens. The total has gone under in five of the Ravens’ last seven games as a favorite.