The 5-0 Denver Broncos gutted out a tough win in Oakland, but they've yet to really get to another gear. They'll get a chance on Sunday when they head to Cleveland to face the 2-3 Browns.
Opening Odds & Line Movement
Open: -4.5 -105 at Pinnacle
Denver opened up as a 4.5-point favorite on the NFL odds but then the line moved to -5, then -5-5. Then it moved down to -4.5 and is now at -4 as the Broncos have some injuries to be concerned about and the Browns have been playing very well offensively. Josh McCown has been outstanding, posting three games in a row with 300 yards or more, including 457 yards in their overtime win in Baltimore. More impressively, he has six touchdowns and one interception. Josh McCown has a better QBR than Peyton Manning....just let that sink in for a minute. By a wide margin, as well (McCown is eighth at 102.8, Manning is 30th at 77.3).
The Broncos held out a number of players for Wednesday's practice, such as WR Demaryius Thomas (neck), DeMarcus Ware (back), CB Aqib Talib (ankle) and G Evan Mathis (hamstring). Thomas and Mathis are the most likely to play out of this group, but don't count out Talib and Ware just yet. Denver's defense has been exceptional, ranking second behind the New York Jets in points allowed, and Ware especially has been a huge part of that.
McCown is dealing with an ankle injury, but he should be able to play on Sunday. Now that he firmly has the #1 spot under center over Johnny Manziel, McCown's ankle would have to be snapped in two for him to miss any time and even then, he'd try and figure out a way to play.
The Broncos have managed to cover the spread in four of their last five games, and five of their last six on the road. The Browns are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games, but they're 2-4 ATS in their last six at home.
Cleveland has lost their last six in a row against the Broncos dating back to October 2000, and they've covered just once in that time, which actually came in Denver in December 2003.
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