If you don’t have a vested interest in this Thursday Night Football matchup, then you might want to look away because the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns aren’t setting up for a particularly thrilling matchup tonight. At least on paper, the Broncos and Browns aren’t going to make for the best Thursday night showdown.
This is a result of injuries coming up on the Broncos and the Browns. It’s largely out of their control. The Browns are the team mostly feeling the pain from injuries at the moment. They have injuries all over the field, including to Baker Mayfield. Mayfield originally indicated that he was going to play this week, but that was wishful and positive thinking.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 21, 2021
He’s dealing with a fully torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. He went down in a heap of pain this past week against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals throttled the Browns in Cleveland for a 37-14 win. It was an impressive statement win for the Cardinals, as they wanted to prove that they’re for real.
Broncos’ starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, is dealing with an injury as well. His foot is bothering him, and the status of Bridgewater has been in doubt all week. However, it appears that all systems are green. Bridgewater hasn’t done anything exceptionally well this season, and missed several targets last week in a 34-24 loss at home versus the Raiders.
Along with Mayfield on the shelf for the Browns, they are without both of their running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. With both inactive, D’Ernest Johnson is up next on the depth chart. It will be interesting to see if the Browns rely on Case Keenum’s arm or more of a ground and pound game. Oh yeah, the offensive line has injury problems as well. Head below for our free
Noah Fant Total Receiving Touchdowns
Iowa product, Noah Fant, continues to improve in his third season in the NFL. Three years back, Fant recorded 562 yards and 3 touchdowns. He improved in his sophomore campaign with 673 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Fant is going into Thursday night with 273 yards and 3 touchdowns on 30 receptions. He is coming off a season-high with 9 receptions and 97 yards against the Raiders. Paydirt was also reached for Fant, as he caught his third touchdown of the young season.
He’s been playing more of a role in the red zone, as Teddy Bridgewater has been targeting him often. Fant has scored a touchdown in two of his previous three games, which also includes a score against the Baltimore Ravens on October 3. He’s going to get chances tonight, and I think the value makes him an attractive option to score a touchdown.
Ronald Darby Total Tackles+Assists
BetUS is offering defensive props for tonight, which is music to my eyes. Betting on defensive players isn’t as common as offensive players, but there can be some gems to find if you look good enough.
Cornerback Ronald Darby returned to the field last week against the Raiders. He has only played in two games, including on September 12 against the New York Giants in the season opener. A valuable member to the defense, it’s important that Darby is on the field for the Broncos’ defense.
Darby is a solid tackler that typically finishes his plays. He opened the season against the Giants with 6 solo tackles against the Giants. Back on the field against the Raiders, Darby was active again.
Darby had 4 solo tackles and an assist in the losing effort. Combined he’s made 11 tackles in two games this season. Expect Darby to have at least 4 combined tackles on Thursday night. This number looks a touch low.
Brandon McManus Total Points
From an off-the-radar defensive player prop to a kicker prop bet. Brandon McManus goes into Thursday night connecting on 12 field goals on 12 attempts. In the NFL with kickers missing weekly, McManus’s success rate has been impressive.
His best effort was a 4-for-4 day against the New York Jets on September 26. McManus followed up to go 2-for-2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Through his eight-year career, McManus has a success rate of 82.6%.
This is a play not only on McManus, but how I see this game going. It’s not crazy to see this one developing into a defensive battle with the offenses struggling to finish drives. McManus should have at least 2 field goals, with the Broncos finding the end zone to put him OVER this prop in Cleveland.