Please make sure to check back Friday for my 4-Star picks and my take on the rest of the NFL schedule.
This week’s lines are from usatoday.com (as of Wednesday night).
Cleveland @ Baltimore (-12)
The Ravens are coming off an big 31-30 win over the Patriots last week. QB Joe Flacco has looked great so far this season, completing 65% of his passes for 913 yards and six TDs with a QB rating of 101.1. The Ravens are averaging 32.7 points/game, ranking second in the league. They’re also third in the league in passing, averaging 301 yards per game. Scoring points versus the Browns this Thursday night shouldn’t be a problem. The Browns are among the worst defenses in the league, giving up an average of 269 passing yards/game (27th in the NFL) and 392 total yards/game (25th). Not to mention, they are without their best cornerback, Joe Haden, who is serving a suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
The Browns offense, led by rookie QB Brandon Weeden, has struggled scoring points this season. They are averaging 19 points per game, 26th in the NFL. Weeden has a QB rating of 60.7, throwing for three TDs while having six interceptions. RB Trent Richardson is the team’s most talented player. He had a big game in Week 2 versus the Bengals but struggled last week versus the Eagles, rushing for only 39 yards. The Browns have no real threats at wide receiver so I expect them to lean heavily on Richardson. The Ravens will be focused on stopping the run and forcing Weeden to make plays with his arm, leading to a few turnovers. The opportunistic Ravens defense should have a field day against Weeden and the Browns offense.
I don’t expect this to be much of a game, the Browns will have difficulty stopping the high-powered Ravens offense.
The Browns are 0-3 ATS this season while the Ravens are 2-1 ATS.
Gimme the Ravens minus the points.
4 Stars: 2-2
3 Stars: 3-3
2 Stars: 0-3
Total Record: 5-8