NFL ATS Picks - Betting Gods Hate Cleveland, Sharps Love Browns

Cleveland Browns Players Shake Hands

Saturday, November 5, 2016 7:49 PM GMT

Cleveland's World Series dreams may have been crushed, but turn those frowns upside-down: The Cleveland Browns are the sharpest pick on the Week 9 NFL odds board.

Record: 16-11-1 ATS, 4-7 Totals

I love it when a plan comes together. Earlier this week, we identified the Dallas Cowboys as a potential fade target for Sunday's game (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) against the Cleveland Browns. Dallas opened as a 7-point road fave; sure enough, that spread has moved to –7.5 on our NFL odds board at press time. There's even a –8 out there if you shop around.

The wiseguys are already on the scene. Our expanded consensus report for this matchup shows 60 percent of the bets placed on Dallas (6-1 SU and ATS), but 71 percent of the monies wagered landing on Cleveland (0-8 SU, 2-6 ATS). That gives the Browns the biggest average bet for Week 9 at a healthy $216. Not exactly the nosebleed stakes, but a sizeable chunk of change nonetheless. Guess we should put the Browns in our NFL picks this week, huh?

QB Cody Kessler will start at QB.#DALvsCLE

— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 4, 2016


I hate it when a plan doesn't come together. This is why we were preaching patience at the start of the week; there was every likelihood that Kessler would get the nod against Dallas, with Josh McCown returning to the sidelines. But it's way past time we cut the kid some slack here at the home office. Kessler has been playing close to league-average, according to the efficiency stats at Football Outsiders, and that's pretty much what McCown did for Cleveland last year.

Here's another positive for Browns fans: They've got a new Pro-Bowl linebacker. The New England Patriots decided to cut ties with Jamie Collins, shipping him to Cleveland for a conditional third-round pick in 2017. Well, it's a positive in terms of beating the spread this Sunday. Collins is a free agent after this season, so he'll probably bolt, but the Browns will presumably get that pick back if he does.

One more good piece of news: Rookie first-rounder WR Corey Coleman is expected to play after breaking his left hand during practice. It'll be his first game since Week 2, when he caught a pair of touchdown passes – from McCown, granted – in a 25-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens (–4 away). We'll buy that for a dollar.

Free NFL Pick: Browns +8 (–115)

Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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