Videos by OutKick
Ravens vs. Browns, 4:30 ET
When looking ahead on the season, this game looked great. You were going to have Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson squaring off and a divisional matchup late in the season. We only get half of that – a divisional matchup, but Jackson will not be in this game and Watson looks like a shell of his former self at this point, though that isn’t very surprising.
The Ravens spoiled a lot of bets last week with some help from an injury to Steelers starting quarterback Kenny Pickett. They were able to narrowly escape with the victory over the Steelers in a tough 16-14 battle. Their offense did not look good. At least not their passing offense, but their rushing game was successful. I can’t imagine the Browns didn’t take notice of that. Are they going to just dare Tyler Huntley to throw the ball on them all game? I think that’s the best way to go about this game for them. Think about it, if you saw your opponent just throw for 94 yards in the last game and rush for 215, what do you think you’d be preparing for this week? So how do the Ravens combat that? Well maybe they turn to Anthony Brown who was three-for-five in passing attempts to get 16 yards. That doesn’t sound very promising, but they need to figure something out because the running game probably will not have the same success.
The Browns are not a team that you want to be backing very often. However, this might be a good opportunity for them. In Watson’s first game with Cleveland, he was able to help lead his squad to victory over the Texans. The next game was much tougher against the Bengals. Now he is back home for his first home start as the Browns quarterback. We’ve already talked about what their defense needs to do, and I do think they are capable of it. So, what does the offense need to accomplish in order to steal a victory over the Ravens? First, Watson will need to protect the ball a bit better. You can’t be too rough on the guy as he is in just his second game over the past two years, but he needs to get a better completion percentage and probably find one receiver that he can just establish a connection with. The Ravens rush defense is very good so I’m concerned that if the Browns can’t get the run game going, the offense is going to be stagnant relying on a rusty Watson.
I do think it is possible this game says under the low 38.5 total. Neither team has a really strong offense right now, but they both have capable defenses. I can’t recommend playing the total though too much can happen for the total to go over. This might be very close though and in a game that is close, I tend to take the points. I won’t in this one though. I’m taking the Browns to cover the -3 points. Even as rusty as Watson looks, I prefer him over whatever quarterback Baltimore rolls out there.
For more sports betting information and plays, follow David on Twitter: @futureprez2024