Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens
Date and Time: Sunday, September 17, 2017, 1 p.m. ET
Location: M&T Bank Stadium
Week 2 Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Ravens -7, O/U 41
Browns vs. Ravens TV Coverage: CBS
Cleveland’s 2017-18 campaign hardly started off on the right foot. The offense went three and out and then got the punt blocked on fourth down. It was recovered in the end zone by the Steelers who took a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. The rout looked to be on. However, the Browns offense knotted the game up at seven a piece at the tail end of the first quarter, and then clawed to within 14-10 in the third. The books grimaced when Pittsburgh took a 21-10 in the third, but once again, Cleveland found a way to get back in it.
A Corey Coleman touchdown snag and successful two-point conversion pulled the Browns to within three with just over three minutes remaining. Unfortunately, the defense could never get the ball back and Pittsburgh went on to win 21-18 but failed to cover the 10-point spread. DeShone Kizer showed well in his first career NFL start completing 20 of 30 passes for 222 yards and a 1:1 TD/INT ratio. He also hit pay dirt with his legs. It will be interesting to see how his game translates on the road for the very first time against what looks to be an even more unforgiving defense than the Steelers.
Baltimore’s stop unit was flat out brilliant last Sunday afternoon. What it did to Andy Dalton might just be considered illegal in a few states. Terrell Suggs and his mates sacked him five times, picked him off four times, and also stripped him of the pigskin. They recovered it to add insult to injury. When it was said and done, the Bengals supposed improved offense mustered a grand total of 221 total yards, went 0 for 3 in the red zone, and lost the time of possession battle by eight minutes.
Now for the bad news. Baltimore committed a whopping 11 turnovers that penalized them 85 yards. It didn’t matter much since they dominated Cincy in every facet of the game, but those miscues best be cut down against the better teams in the league. The offense also failed to do much combining for just 268 total yards and converting on only one of three occasions in the red zone. The star power is lacking on this side of the ball, and the injury to Danny Woodhead is concerning. We’re likely going to have to get used to the Ravens “uglying” it up every passing week.
Player to Watch
For all intents and purposes, the Browns did a solid job limiting Big Ben and the Steelers passing attack to less than 300 yards. However, Antonio Brown had himself a field day catching all 11 of his targets and turning them into 182 receiving yards. Jeremy Maclin didn’t do much to impress in his Ravens debut reeling in two receptions for 56 yards, but he was the beneficiary of Joe Flacco’s only touchdown pass. The targets are likely to increase here with Cleveland showing just how unable it was at covering opposing team’s WR1 last week. Now granted, Maclin is no AB, but he’s a veteran that has the ability to make some much needed noise for a Baltimore offense that was as unimpressive as ever last week.
Browns vs. Ravens Picks
Not overthinking this one at all. Cleveland has lost eight of its last 10 matchups with the Ravens and only managed four covers in those tilts. It’s lost and failed to cover at the best NFL sportsbooks each of the last three times these division rivals crossed paths, and lost those games by an average of 10.7 points per game. Two of those defeats came at home. Kizer is going to have his hands full trying to dissect Baltimore’s defense on the road, and he likely won’t get much of any relief from his ground game which struggled opening holes for Isaiah Crowell against the Steelers. Baltimore just got done toying with the Bengals three-headed monster in the backfield, and won’t have issues on Sunday either.
Browns vs. Ravens Week 2 ATS Pick: Ravens -7.5 at BookMaker.eu
Browns vs. Ravens Score Prediction: Ravens 26 – Browns 13