Coming off of a 3-2 record in Week 9, I’ll look to string together yet another winning record as we enter the final stretch of games as Week 10 approaches. The Thursday night games are traditionally duds, and this one figures to be yet another one of those. That said, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t at least some intrigue as it features a divisional showdown between the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens and the winless Cleveland Browns.
Truthfully, nobody probably expected either squad to enter Week 10 in their current predicaments. The Browns were bad and are bad, but 0-9 bad? I’m not certain I saw that one coming. It is looking more and more likely that they finish the season without recording a single victory. Conversely, for the Ravens it was expected to be a year of mediocrity. The playoffs were viewed as a longshot. Yet here they are entering Week 10 as division leaders. Even though this game may not be all that competitive, there’s still a bunch of intrigue – and money to be made. Read on below for that betting selection as well as a full game breakdown and analysis.
Browns vs. Ravens Betting Odds:
Cleveland Browns +10 (-115)
@ Baltimore Ravens -10 (-105)
Over 45 (-110)
Under 45 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Browns vs. Ravens Pick:
Even though the Cleveland Browns enter this week as a winless football club, dare I suggest they aren’t the worst team in football? Personally, I rank the San Francisco 49ers lower, and though the Browns have an uphill battle just to record a victory this season, they’ve done some things well at times and should be able to again this week. For starters, Baltimore is coming off of a very emotional victory last week by topping their bitter rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s given them control of the AFC North, but they’re not as good as they currently appear, so don’t be surprised to see them give that lead up.
For Cleveland to be in this game and keep things tight, they’ll need to put points on the board to compensate for the current sorry state of their defence. That is realistic this week however as the Ravens have shown some flaws recently. They really struggle at applying pressure on the opposing quarterback, and with Joe Thomas along Cleveland’s offensive line – look for more of the same this week. This will clean up the pocket for Cody Kessler, and the QB should have ample time and space to connect with the speedy Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor. In the first game between these two teams, Coleman looked to be very difficult to cover, and look for more of the same in Week 10.
For the Ravens, we’ll see if they can carry over recent momentum to blow away the lowly Browns. Though on paper it seems like a mismatch, I wouldn’t count on it. Joe Haden roams in the Cleveland secondary and should stifle Joe Flacco and the passing game. Baltimore may have success on the ground and this should definitely open things up, but nowhere near the amount to warrant a double-digit point spread. Finally, the Ravens don’t boast very good pass protection and if Cleveland can find a way to gain some disruption on Joe Flacco, it could go a very long way to restricting the effectiveness of Baltimore’s offence.
Though I have been quite successful in recent weeks at simply taking the better team in these Thursday night contests, I may need to deviate from that plan with such an inflated price here. This line is just way too high for me, as the Ravens are not this good. Let’s not forget the Browns held an 18-point lead on these Ravens back when they first played. Cleveland has endured a fair amount of bad luck and probably deserve a couple of wins by now. While I doubt they get one this week, the spread is too much. Baltimore has yet to win by 10 points this season, and Week 10 won’t bring that either.
PICK = Browns +10 (-115)