NFL Football Betting Preview
Baltimore Ravens (4-4) at Cleveland Browns (1-7)
Monday November 16th, 8:35PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Baltimore -11, 38.5 O/U
The Baltimore Ravens started the season strong as expected jumping out to a 3-0 record, but have had troubles in recent weeks losing 4 of he last 5 games despite blowing out the Broncos during that stretch. It is safe to say the Ravens have been pretty inconsistent and difficult to figure out. However, the Ravens dominated the Cleveland Browns in week 3 34-3 and hope to do the same in a re-match this Monday night in Cleveland. For the Browns, things have been much worse. Cleveland’s only win on the season was a 6-3 victory over Buffalo a few weeks back and they are hungry for another victory. However, the Browns have lost the last 3 straight games to the Ravens and they will have to find a way to put up more points than they have in recent weeks if any of the trends are to change this Monday night.
The Browns have only managed to score 7.25 points per game in their last 4 outings including their win over Buffalo. Cleveland ranks next to last in the NFL in scoring offense averaging just 9.8 points per game through the first half of the season. So what is the problem on offense? Well take your pick. Browns QB Brady Quinn started the season but has just completed 59% for 1 score and 3 picks. Quinn’s struggled led Cleveland to turn to QB Derek Anderson. However, Anderson was even worse completing just 42% with only 2 scores and an embarrassing 9 interceptions in just a few short weeks. Cleveland ranks dead last in passing offense as they only have 972 yards through the air.
On the ground, things have not been much better as Jamal Lewis has just 349 yards on 98 carries for the season. Now one of the reasons that neither pass nor rush has been effective is because the offense line has struggled, but still the Browns must figure out how to get more points on the board or they may not see another victory. The Browns defense is not much better ranking dead last in the NFL allowing 409 yards per game of total offense from opponents. Therefore, on paper there are not many signs of hope. However, Cincinnati forced Baltimore into a few turnovers and held the Ravens to just 7 points. The Browns will hope for same considering they will not have the firepower or consistency to get into any kind of high scoring affair.
Baltimore is averaging a respectable 25.6 points per game, but the majority of the offense was produced in the first few weeks of the season. QB Joe Flacco is having a solid sophomore campaign completing 65% with 12 touchdowns and 7 picks. Flacco has already eclipsed the 2,000 yard mark through the first half of the season and is on pace for a solid year. However, the Ravens need their quarterback to limit the bad passes. In the last 3 games Flacco has thrown an interception, the Ravens have suffered a loss. In fact, Baltimore has lost the last 5 games when Flacco has thrown more than 1 pick during a contest. So Baltimore will need to hold onto the football and not help the struggling Cleveland offense.
Running back Ray Rice is having an excellent season both running the ball and catching passes out of the backfield. Rice has 46 catches for 436 yards just 16 behind Derrick Mason who leads the team in reception yards. However, Rice does lead the team in rushing averaging 5.3 yards a pop for 573 yards on the season. If the Ravens can just keep the chains moving through their balanced attack, there should not be many worries. Also, Baltimore has a pretty tenacious defense that hits hard. If they can get some pressure up front on Brady Quinn who will be getting the start, they can continue the Browns offensive woes.
Pick – Baltimore -11