Broncos vs. Browns NFL Picks: Bet Denver to Cover ATS & Improve to 6-0

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, October 16, 2015 7:10 PM GMT

We analyze Sunday's game between the Denver Broncos and the Cleveland Browns for our Crusher of the Week NFL pick.

Denver Broncos (-4) vs. Cleveland Browns, Sunday, October 18, 1:00 PM ET
The Denver Broncos travel east to face the Cleveland Browns for this 1:00 ET kickoff on Sunday.  It is a battle of the 5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS Broncos with the 2-3 SU, 2-3 Cleveland Browns.  Defense is the difference, in what I perceive to be an NFL Crusher.  The combination of my NFL and CFB Crushers are now 7-3 ATS (73%) the last 4 weeks.   

Plenty of naysayers among NFL analysts when talking about the Denver Broncos!  Lots of banter about QB Manning being a bit long in the tooth and ready for retirement!  That is reinforced by the fact that, for perhaps the first time ever, Manning has a 6/7 ratio after 5 games of the regular season.  As a result, the offense is struggling at only 23 PPG and 303 YPG.  The run game averages just 22/72/3.3, while Manning is completing just 64% of his passes.  With an 11 am body time start, some may question whether the old bones of Manning will even be able to get out of bed.  Through all of this, the Broncos have still managed an undefeated record with 4 covers in 5 games.  Last week was tough, as the Broncos did not score an offensive TD but still managed to squeeze by an improved Oakland team (16-10) with a Key INT return.  The Broncos ran it just 18 times for 43 yards.  As in all their other contests this year, the defense has been the shining light.  For the season, only the Jets have allowed fewer than the Broncos 16 PPG.  No one has allowed fewer than the Broncos’ 278 YPG and the 4.6 defensive YP play is tied with the Jets for the best mark in the league.  This is a good week for the Broncos to go all out, as they have a bye next week.  History tells us that non-division road chalk, prior to a bye week, is 11-2 ATS.  And, despite the decline in the offensive numbers, the Broncos are still 31-15 ATS as chalk.

Cleveland comes off a successful 2-game road trip, including a (33-30) OT win vs. the rival Ravens.  A closer look finds they were outrushed by Baltimore 181-83.  It took 422 PY for them to get the job done.  That doesn’t happen against the Denver defense.  The Browns may still be celebrating that win, as under HC Pettine, they are just 2-6 ATS following a victory.  The last 6 times they have faced the Broncos, they have come away a loser.  But, Cleveland’s real problem in this game is a defense that is ultra-dichotomous to that of the Broncos.  Cleveland is allowing 26 PPG on 400 YPG, including 149/5.0 overland.  That number is better than only Miami.  As well, their 6.4 defensive YP play average is better than only San Francisco and New Orleans. 

Defense the difference in this contest.  And, if Manning gets back on track against the shaky Cleveland stop unit, this has the potential to get ugly very fast.  Put the NFL odds in your favor by joining me for my NFL pick of the Denver Broncos as the NFL Crusher of the Week. 

NFL Picks: Broncos -4 at 5Dimes

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