Week 7 NFL odds, betting picks

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Our NFL betting expert brings you his best Browns vs. Ravens predictions and picks for their NFL Week 7 matchup, which is live Sunday at 1 p.m. EST on CBS.

Two close losses and one blowout have sent the Cleveland Browns to the back of the pack in the tight AFC North, but there’s ground to be made up if they can find success at the Baltimore Ravens. No lead has been safe for the Ravens despite MVP-level play from quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Browns vs. Ravens predictions


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Browns vs. Ravens picks and analysis

The Browns (2-4) got Zapped last week. None other than rookie Bailey Zappe, who entered the season as the New England Patriots’ third-string quarterback, completed 24 of 34 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns in a dominant 38-15 win. Cleveland’s defense only managed to sack the rookie twice (both times Myles Garrett) and record two other quarterback hits. The Browns rank toward the bottom in most major defensive categories right now.

The Ravens (3-3), on the other hand, keep alternating wins with losses. We mentioned in last week’s preview of their road game against the New York Giants that Baltimore has had trouble closing out games in the second half. Lo and behold, the Ravens led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter but gave up two late touchdowns to lose 24-20. With Baltimore and Cincinnati for the division lead and Pittsburgh also 2-4, the division is shaping up a lot like last year — no one quite wants to run away with the title yet.

Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson
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Ravens -6.5

Reasonable people would agree that John Harbaugh is a better, and certainly more experienced, coach than Kevin Stefanski. Now is his time to show it. It’s as close to a true must-win game as a division leader could have in Week 7.

The Ravens have owned this matchup ever since they shed their skin as the “old” Browns and packed up to move to Baltimore. Not only are they 34-12 all-time in the series, they’re 10-3 in the past 13 meetings.

Lamar Jackson has more passing touchdowns (11) and rushing touchdowns (four) against Cleveland in his career than any other opponent. He’s posted a better-combined passer rating (96.9) and completion percentage (67.3 percent) against the Browns than his other two division rivals.

Finally, there’s the home-field advantage factor, where Baltimore has beaten Cleveland five of the past six times. Getting the slumping Browns now is a major get-right game for the Ravens, especially their suspect defense.

Pick: Ravens to win (-6.5) @ -110 with Caesars Sportsbook

Betting on the NFL?

Over 45.5 total points

Five of the Browns’ six games this season have hit the over. Look no further than their defensive woes to figure out why.

The Browns are tied for 30th in the NFL in scoring defense at 27.2 points per game. They’re particularly vulnerable on the ground, allowing 131.5 yards per game (24th), which just so happens to be where Jackson and the Ravens like to operate.

While starting Jacoby Brissett at quarterback isn’t the ideal situation for the Browns, the offense flows through Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Last week against the Patriots looked brutal, but this is still a running back tandem that’s combined for 10 total touchdowns (nine rushing, one receiving) over six games.

Nick Chubb
Nick Chubb
Getty Images

The last time these teams played, Jackson left early with an ankle injury that ultimately ended his season. That game, for what it’s worth, still hit the over with a 24-22 finish. But during the Jackson era this series has also seen final scores like 47-42, 31-15 and 40-25 — the latter a Cleveland victory.

Pick: Over 45.5 points scored @ -110 with Caesars Sportsbook

Nick Chubb under 77.5 rush yards

Chubb was chugging along with a fantastic start to the season, gaining totals of 141, 87, 113, 118 and 134 rushing yards over his first five games.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots focused on containing the Browns’ run game in Week 6, and they got results. Not only did Chubb finish with a season-low 56 rushing yards, Kareem Hunt only took four carries for 12. Soon the Browns were way behind and had to air it out to attempt a comeback.

We can foresee something similar happening Sunday. The Ravens are all too familiar with what the Browns like to do. And they’ve done a fine job against Chubb throughout his career, limiting him to 56.6 yards per game on 4.6 yards per attempt over eight meetings.

While the Ravens have struggled to close out games, they’re usually on point in the first half. This team was beating the Buffalo Bills 20-3 late in the first half three weeks ago. They can manage a victory if they set a similar pace and force Brissett to throw — limiting Chubb’s chances to do damage.

Pick: Browns RB Nick Chubb to rush for under 77.5 yards @ -119 at Caesars Sportsbook

Browns vs. Ravens odds

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook. Correct at time of publishing and subject to change.

Team Spread Money line Total Points 45.5
Browns (+6.5) -110 +228 Over -110
Ravens (-6.5) -110 -285 Under -110

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