|NFL | Oct 01, 2023
Ravens vs. Browns
-2½ -117 at ACE
Jack's Free Pick Sunday: Cleveland Browns -2.5
The Cleveland Browns have the best defense in the NFL by a country mile. They allow 10.7 points per game, 163.7 yards per game and 3.4 yards per play this season. That defense is the reason they should be 3-0 right now. But they gave up two non-offensive touchdowns to Pittsburgh on the road in Week 2 to lose by 4 points.
Deshaun Watson played his best game as a Brown last week in a 27-3 win over Tennessee. He completed 27 of 33 passes, and the defense held the Titans to 94 total yards. Holding an opponent under 100 yards is unheard of in the NFL. They also held the Bengals to 142 total yards in their dominant 24-3 win at home in Week 1. So they have outscored their two opponents 51-6 combined in their two home games.
Now they host the Baltimore Ravens in a key divisional game, so there will be no letdown. It's also a banged-up Ravens team that was missing seven starters last week in their upset home loss to the Colts. That's a big reason I was on the Colts +8 last week, and it's a big reason I'm on the Browns this week. Baltimore may get a few starters back this week, but they are still one of the most injury-riddled teams in the NFL to open the season.
There's too much on Lamar Jackson's shoulders, and he did not handle it very well against the Colts. I don't expect him to have much success against this Jim Schwartz defense either. The home team has won each of the last four meetings in this series. I question how much the Ravens have left in the tank after playing OT last week, while Cleveland made easy work of Tennessee. Bet the Browns Sunday.