Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns Pick: NFL Week 14
Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns Pick – NFL Week 14: John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens come into Monday night’s game in Cleveland on a 1-4 ATS streak as the betting favorite, and while the Cleveland Browns have turned their historic streak of losing around, they still hold a dreadful 19-40-1 ATS record in their last 60 games as the underdog. It’s a crucial AFC North battle on Monday Night Football.
Last year Cleveland handed Baltimore one of its two regular-season losses in a 40-25 route. In two meetings since then, however, Baltimore has come away with 31-15 and 38-6 routes of Cleveland. It’s probably unfair to judge Cleveland off the week one meeting this year, considering they had a new head coach in a year where they didn’t get a preseason to work on the new system, whereas Baltimore was bringing back the same team. When Cleveland was able to beat Baltimore last year, they did so by rushing for 193 yards and 6.7 yards per rush.
Match-Up and Trends
These two teams represent the NFL’s top two rushing attacks as they both average over 157 yards per game on the ground. In terms of yards per rush, Baltimore ranks 1st, averaging 5.2 yards per carry, with Cleveland ranking 4th averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Cleveland uses a two-running back system led by Nick Chubb, who leads all NFL running backs with 6 yards per carry.
Baltimore uses a plethora of running backs, with J.K. Dobbins averaging 5.4 yards per carry, which ranks 2nd among running backs, and quarterback Lamar Jackson is averaging 5.8 yards per carry, which ranks 2nd among quarterbacks and leads NFL quarterbacks with 669 rushing yards. Defensively, Baltimore rates better overall, but against the run, Cleveland has the better run defense allowing 4 yards per carry, which ranks 10th in the NFL.
Measure of Expectation
Last week, against Tennessee, Cleveland did not get the ground game going as they only averaged 3.3 yards per carry on 36 attempts. Still, quarterback Baker Mayfield was stellar, throwing for four touchdown passes in the first half and helping Cleveland establish a 38-7 lead at halftime, winning the game 41-35 as +170 moneyline underdogs.
Letting Mayfield throw was the correct strategy as Tennessee had a terrible pass defense allowing 7 yards per pass attempt which ranked 21st in the league. They also had no ability to put pressure on the quarterback as they averaged 1.2 sacks per game, and only Cincinnati ranked worse.
Throwing the ball against Baltimore figures to be much more difficult as they can put more pressure on the quarterback, and they have the third-best pass defense allowing just 5.9 yards per pass attempt.
Baltimore Ravens vs Cleveland Browns Pick
Cleveland is 9-3 and ahead of Baltimore in the standings. That said, this division has historically been about Pittsburgh and Baltimore, both of whom Cleveland has faced once already this year. Those two games represent two of Cleveland’s losses by a combined score of 76-13.
The Browns are between +2.5 and +3 point ATS underdogs, and get to play this game at home on Monday night against a Baltimore team playing its 3rd game in 12 days. This is a big-time Cleveland spot; thus, they’d be my lean. Tough total to predict, but I would expect long drives; thus, my lean on the total would be ‘under’ 46.5.