BALTIMORE RAVENS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS

Huge game in the AFC North as the 9-3, second place, Browns welcome the 7-5, third place, Ravens in a matchup that will have huge playoff implications for not only these two sides but for every team in the Conference hunting for a wildcard playoff spot.

The Browns had another huge AFC game with playoff implications last week and they came out firing, taking a 38-7 lead into the changing rooms with them at HT and although the Titan fought to get themselves back in the game, ultimately falling 41-35, this was a game the Browns had already won as both sides took the field for the 3rd quarter. Baker Mayfield was imperious, throwing for 334 yards and 4 TD’s in what was his best performance as a professional. Baker has been hit or miss this season but the one thing he has done is look after the ball pretty well, only throwing 7 INT’s whilst posting 21 TD passes this season. Although Baker played exceptionally well last week this is a team that likes and wants to run the ball and there’s not many better than Nick Chubb, the Browns are 7-1 in games that Chubb has played in this season (the “1”? Against the Ravens on opening day) and has 5 games with 100+ rushing yards already this season. On defense the Browns might leave something to be desired against the pass but they’re studs against the run game, allowing the 8th fewest yards on the ground in the NFL and really showed their run stuffing chops in limiting the league’s rushing leader, Derrick Henry to only 60 yards on 15 carries as well as keeping the big man scoreless.

Baltimore needed a win in the worst way on Tuesday night as they faced off against the Cowboys and to their credit they got one, running all over Dallas’ bottom ranked run defense for just a tick under 295 yards as they won 34-17. Lamar Jackson was far from his explosive best but in a game between the leagues #1 run offense and the #32 run defense, he didn’t have to be, this was a defense built for the Ravens to beat and a game they were never losing. Baltimore will be hoping their defense can get themselves back on form as they’ve been lacklustre in recent outings, there’s exceptional talent through the defense, especially at the Cornerback position and after seeing Mayfield put up giddy numbers last week I’m sure they’ll be on red alert in a game the Ravens simply must win.

The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Buffalo Bills last night meaning that a win here puts the Browns just one game behind the division leaders with the Steelers having to come to Ohio to end the regular season whilst the Ravens know they may very well need to win out to make the playoffs, as well as this being a divisional game with a lot of history between the franchises means that neither will take a backwards step tonight.

So, who am I taking? Well, it’s close but I just can’t see the Ravens season all but ending at the hands of the Browns so I’m going to take the Ravens to hand the Browns their first loss since coming off of their bye, 4 weeks ago!

As for my best bet, I had to look at the running game, these two sides rank as the #1 and #2 rushing offenses in the NFL right now and I expect both sides to play to their strengths (although I expect the Ravens to be a more balanced offense and test this questionable Browns pass defense) and with Lamar Jackson having ran the ball 11 or more times in each of his last 5 games we’re going to take the over on his Rushing Attempts line with the number currently set at 10.5. We also like the same market for Browns runner, Nick Chubb. Chubb has carried the rock 18 or more times in all 4 games since he’s returned from injury and in 6 of his 8 games this season so with his U/O total at 17.5 we like the over on that one too.

PREDICTION: RAVENS 21 โ€“ 20 BROWNS     

BEST BET: Lamar Jackson OVER 10.5 Rushing Attempts โ€“ 11/10 with SkyBet. 0.5 point bet.

NEXT BEST: Nick Chubb OVER 17.5 Rushing Attempts โ€“ 5/6 with SkyBet. 0.5 point bet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: