NFL Monday Night Football: Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens Preview, Odds, and Prediction!
We have a massive AFC North showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens are on the outside looking in for an AFC wildcard spot, and the Browns are fighting to keep their playoff spot.
Cleveland Browns (+140) vs. Baltimore Ravens (-160)... Spread: Ravens (-3)
We have a battle between possibly the 2 most overrated teams in the NFL. As you can tell I'm not buying into the Browns hype yet after just 1 big performance from QB Baker Mayfield. In week 13, Mayfield connected for 4 TD's and 334 passing yards on route to a 41-35 win over a team with one of the worst defenses in the NFL, the Tennessee Titans. The Browns are sitting comfortably at 9-3 on the season, and are looking to give their fans something to cheer about for the first time ever. Their offense is led by the duo threat in the backfield with RB's Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. When healthy, they are the best RB 1-2 punch in the NFL. They are not just dominant in the running game, but they contribute mightily through the air as well to give Mayfield passing options out of the backfield. In week 13, they combined for 163 yards from scrimmage and had 1 TD, but most importantly, they make defenses focus on them to give Mayfield time and space to throw. On defense, the Browns will rely on standout LB Myles Garrett again to perform as he already has 10.5 sacks on the season. Look for him to be in the face of Jackson all night.
It's desperation time for the Ravens. At 7-5, they are currently not in a playoff spot and it would be a major disappointment to their fan base if they fail to make the playoffs in a season where there's one extra spot in each conference. QB Lamar Jackson has had an average season coming off his MVP year but, it's no secret that the game plan for the Ravens is to run it down your throat. Teams are forcing Jackson to beat them through the air, and he hasn't proved that he can be consistent with his accuracy. In week 13, the Ravens beat the Dallas Cowboys 34-17 with a strong performance on the ground as Jackson only threw for 107 passing yards. Luckily for them, they are facing a below average defense this week that has difficulties keeping offenses off the scoreboard. Also, we can't forget that the Ravens destroyed the Browns in their first matchup 38-6. But, the outcome of this game will depend on which Ravens team we will get. With that being said, the Ravens are the more desperate team and I believe they will make a statement in this game on the road in Cleveland. Hammer the Ravens -3 to cash in Monday night as they will be led by their defense to stifle the Browns lackluster offense.
Prediction: Ravens -3 (-120)