NFL Betting Picks – Can The Browns Challenge For AFC North Title?

Expert NFL Picks Week 4 Baltimore Battles Cleveland in AFC North Showdown

NFL Betting Picks – Can The Browns Challenge For AFC North Title?

The Cincinnati Bengals have been the team to beat in the AFC North for the entire season, but if I could offer any NFL betting tips to my readers, it would be to keep a watchful eye on the plucky Cleveland Browns. Cincinnati is receiving the majority of the backing in this one because of their overall reputation. I guess most people haven’t been watching them the last two weeks.

Cleveland Browns (4-5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)
The Cincinnati Bengals are 5 point favorites over the Cleveland Browns in week 11.
Starts: 11/17/2013 1:00PM
Paul Brown Stadium, One Paul Brown Stadium
Cincinnati , Ohio

 

At just 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS in their last 5 games, it’s easy to assume that the Bengals are a good team that has just run in to a few tough matchups. Over the course of those five games they have an average point differential of +8.2, but that includes the 49-9 blowout against the New York Jets. The farther away Cincinnati gets from that game, the more it looks like an anomaly so it’s fair to note that their point differential over the four games around that Jets matchup is actually just +0.3 points. This offence is not the high scoring machine that you might think they are.

The losses of Geno Atkins and Leon Hall have definitely hurt Cincinnati, but they’ve still allowed just 19.8 points over the last five games. What’s more concerning is that their offense has been completely stifled by strong defensive fronts from Baltimore and Miami. The Bengals have averaged just 22.8 points per game in four games against Baltimore, Miami, Detroit and Buffalo (again, I omitted the funky 49 points scored against the Jets). The catch is that all four of those games were on the road. To be fair, Cincinnati is a strong 4-0 SU and ATS when playing at home. Their inconsistencies might simply be a product of their inability to travel well.

The Cleveland Browns have been an upwards trending team despite somewhat miraculous circumstances. They’re just 3-4 SU in their last 7 games, but are also 5-2 ATS over that same set. That includes covers against stiff teams like Kansas City and Green Bay and a 17-6 beatdown of Cincinnati from late September. A lot has changed since that game. Jason Campbell is now the starting quarterback and has put up very strong numbers in his past two games.

The real kicker in Cleveland is actually the defense. Cleveland has allowed 22.9 points against in their last 7 games, proving that while they’re not the greatest defensive front in the NFL, they’re certainly competitive. They know Andy Dalton and were able to squash him and A.J. Green in their first meeting earlier this year. Cleveland has looked like a reliable team over the past two weeks during their mad quarterback shuffle, and I actually like Jason Campbell more than others so and think he offers the type of veteran reliability that Cleveland has needed all year long.

NFL Week 11 Bonus Betting Picks:

Date
Away
Home
Pick
Nov-14-2013
Indianapolis
Tennessee
TEN +2.5
Nov-17-2013
Oakland
Houston
HOU -7.5
Nov-17-2013
San Diego
Miami
SD -1
Nov-17-2013
Kansas City
Denver
KC+9.5

The Browns are a dangerous team in terms of upset potential. Even on the road, they’re in that no-man’s land of plus/minus 5.5 and have been just as good this year against the betting line. Ironically, they’re also 4-0 ATS when starting any other quarterback other than Brandon Weeden. I don’t think the Browns are actually a real playoff team, but they’re certainly in the mix, and the Bengals have bee skating on thin ice. I’m not willing to trust them until they prove in this pivotal divisional game that they’re just a strong home bet and nothing more.

NFL Betting Pick – Cleveland +5.5 (UNDER)