There is a disagreement within the betting market for the Cleveland Browns (2-4) vs. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) game at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday in Week 7.
Since professional bettors put up a lot more dough than you or I, the cash column is considered the "sharper" side of the betting splits. Furthermore, who's betting on the Browns?
Between the Browns' blowout loss last week, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson's MVP-caliber form, and Baltimore dominating this series in recent seasons, only a madman would bet Cleveland here.
Betting Details (DraftKings)
Bounce-back spot for the Browns
Cleveland got embarrassed at home 38-15 in Week 6 by the Baily Zappe-led New England Patriots. There's value in betting teams after humiliating losses because of public overreaction.
Especially in this case because the Browns got "Belichick'd" last weekend. Cleveland QB Jacoby Brissett reverted to his backup self against a Bill Belichick-New England defense.
The Patriots-Browns game was 10-6 at halftime before Cleveland sputtered. New England scored on a few short drives after Brissett turnovers and Cleveland had to abandon its awesome run game.
Browns All-Pro edge rusher Myles Garrett voiced support for Brissett in a postgame presser. I get the vibe that Cleveland's defense, and Garrett in particular, will get up for this game vs. Baltimore.
Garrett has a sack in each of his last two games against the Ravens and he scored a TD on a strip-sack fumble recovery vs. Baltimore last season.
Furthermore, Garrett lines up on the banged-up side of Baltimore's offensive line. Either Garrett will be facing an injured Ravens RT Morgan Moses or backup OT Patrick Mekari. Yikes.
There are also a few other good reasons to ...
Fade the public with Cleveland
Not only did the Browns get crushed at home last week but Cleveland is 1-3 overall and 0-4 ATS vs. Baltimore since hiring head coach Kevin Stefanski in 2020.
You could argue this is a bounce-back spot for the Ravens because they just blew a double-digit lead in a 24-20 loss at the New York Giants. But, NYG is 5-1 with quality wins and is a more excusable loss for Baltimore than the Patriots are for Cleveland.
Also, Lamar could be in the MVP discussion, all of Baltimore's losses were flukey, Ravens TE Mark Andrews is top-three at his position and the Browns' defense has been horrible.
However, Cleveland is getting 6.5 points in a division matchup and the Browns can get their run game going against this Ravens defense.
Cleveland's 'strength-on-weakness' edge on the ground
Browns RB Nick Chubb is one of the best in the NFL and Cleveland's offensive line will open up lanes against Baltimore's defensive line.
Per Pro Football Focus, the Browns have the 3rd-biggest edge for run blocking in the Week 7 slate. Cleveland is 1st in rushing expected points added per play (EPA/play) and 4th in rushing success rate.
The Ravens focus their defense more so on defending the pass and are below-average in rushing defense EPA/play and success rate.
As long as Brissett can protect the football, Cleveland's offense will have success on the ground and the Browns can cover this number or win outright.