Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens, 9-17-2017 - Expert Prediction
Written by: Brian Spaen
Cleveland Browns (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS)
vs Baltimore Ravens (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
When: Sunday, Sep 17th, 1:00 PM ET
Line: BAL -7.5
TV/Live Stream: CBS
Cleveland and Baltimore will both have a consecutive AFC North battle in Week 2 at M&T Bank Stadium. The Browns hung around against Pittsburgh, but never could get over the hump and get a much needed victory. The Ravens pitched a stunning shutout on the road in Cincinnati, showing that their preseason hype could be real. Baltimore has beaten Cleveland in five of their last six meetings.
Kizer has decent debut, but also takes 7 sacks in loss
Cleveland had a perfect 4-0 preseason, but that didn’t matter as the losing began immediately as the season began with an early 21-18 loss to Pittsburgh. However, the team did have glimpses of hope, staying in the contest and at least having a chance to comeback. The defense also limited the Steelers to just 35 yards on the ground. However, going just 3-for-12 on third down limited their chances to continue moving the ball.
Quarterback DeShone Kizer had a decent debut, completing 20-of-30 passes for 222 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 pick. One significant problem: taking a whopping seven sacks for 42 yards. While some of that blame squarely falls on the offensive line, Kizer will need to learn to get rid of the ball quicker. Corey Coleman led all receivers grabbing five of six targets for 53 yards and also reeled in the touchdown. Isaiah Crowell led the running game with 33 yards on 17 carries. The offense was limited against a great Pittsburgh defense.
Running backs, defenders back up struggling Flacco in win
Baltimore’s defense stole the show in a stunning 20-0 victory over Cincinnati on the road. They forced Andy Dalton to cough the ball up five times (4 INTs, 1 fumble) and held the running game to 77 total yards. On the flipside, the Ravens had 157 yards on the ground. The duo of Terrance West and Javorius Allen combined for 40 carries and 151 of those yards. West had a two-yard TD run to make it 17-0 right before halftime.
Quarterback Joe Flacco was anything but elite in his showing, completing just 9-of-17 passes for 121 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 pick. Jeremy Maclin had the 48-yard touchdown grab late in the second quarter. He had an additional catch for eight yards to end his game, and he did end up missing two other targets. Four different defenders had interceptions; C.J. Mosley had eight total tackles (5 solo) and one of the picks. Terrell Suggs had six tackles (five solo) and registered two sacks.
- 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games on the road
- 1-10-1 ATS in their last 12 games against AFC North opponents
- 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games against AFC North opponents
- 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games after a SU win
Unless age really has passed him by, don’t expect Flacco to have a dud like this in the home opener. The Browns will have a lot of work to do in order to contend anytime soon, and there will be some hard lessons learned in Baltimore.
Pick: BAL -7.5
Blogging journeyman and sports handicapper. His passion for statistics, analyzing team reports, and watching multiple hours of sports daily gives him an edge for picking who will beat the spread. Also writes about technology and video games. Hobbies include enjoying life in the big city, spending way too much time on YouTube, and discovering new craft beer and whisky.
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