Two AFC North rivals will meet in a game that could have playoff implications, as the Cleveland Browns will host the division-leading Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. The Ravens currently sit at the top of the division with an 8-4 record. At 6-6, the Browns are in last place in the North. Let’s take a closer look at the upcoming match between the Ravens and the Browns so you can place your bets against their NFL odds.
NFL Betting Preview for Ravens vs Browns
With a win on Sunday, the Browns would not only be within one game of the division lead, but they would also jump in the AFC Playoff standings. As of right now, the Browns are on the outside looking in, but with five games left in the season a lot can change over the next few weeks.
As for the Baltimore Ravens, if the season were to end today, they would be the #4 seed heading into the playoffs. They suffered a costly loss on Sunday night, as the Pittsburgh Steelers edged them in a hard-fought battle. This game will be huge for Baltimore, as the Bengals are just one game behind them for the division lead. Pittsburgh is just 1.5 games behind, and as we mentioned earlier, the Browns are just two games back.
In looking at this game, here are some things to watch along with our prediction.
The Play of Baker Mayfield
Mayfield has been much maligned this season. Even though he has been fighting numerous injuries, he has continued to play through them. This has affected his play on the field, as he has struggled in the passing game.
The Browns were predicted to be among the top teams in the AFC, but the play of Mayfield has been blamed for their poor record. With a victory over a very good Ravens defense, Mayfield can not only get the Browns back into the playoff hunt, but he can also help to silence his critics.
If the Cleveland defensive staff watched film from last week’s game against the Steelers, they would have a good blueprint on how to slow down the Ravens’ offense. Lamar Jackson is a great player, but the Pittsburgh pass rush made life difficult for him. If you put Jackson into some bad situations, he will make some big mistakes. While his legs can get him out of some big messes, his legs can also get him into trouble at times.
Mark Andrews has been a huge weapon for Jackson and the Ravens‘ offense. He is Jackson’s primary target. He has 811 yards receiving with five touchdowns on the season. If he gets some big receptions, the Browns could be in trouble. When Andrews isn’t getting the ball, the Ravens defense is much easier to control.
Believe it or not, the Browns are 2.5-point favorites at home in this one. We know that the Ravens haven’t been playing well lately, but we’re still a little surprised by this spread. We don’t think that Mayfield will play well enough to beat the Ravens.
In a low-scoring game, we like the Ravens to win this one by a touchdown. This one could be the end of the Browns’ chance at a playoff spot.