Expect Low-Scoring Affair for Week 5 NFL Picks: Browns vs. Titans

Steven Suarez

Thursday, October 2, 2014 8:22 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 8:22 PM GMT

Coming off their bye week, the Browns will try to hand the Titans their fourth consecutive loss in Nashville this weekend. The NFL betting lines show that we should be in for a close game, but who do we think will cover the odds on Sunday?

It sure has been an ugly few weeks for the Titans, who have dropped three straight games to fall to 1-3 on the season. Will they right the ship in Week 5?

Well, the situation sets up nicely for them. They'll be at home to the Browns, who have lost two of their first three matchups thus far. The NFL odds have Tennessee as a short favorite, with the spread ranging from one point to as high as 2.5 points. It all depends on what sportsbook you use.

Wanting to make a play on the total? The current O/U is at 44.5, with a few days still left for the number to move. If anything, we expect it to go down.

Tennessee Titans in 2014-15 Regular Season: 1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS, -12.5 margin of victory

Cleveland Browns in 2014-15 Regular Season1-2 SU, 2-0-1 ATS, -1.0 margin of victory

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Oh, were the Titans ever mighty? Just kidding.

After crushing Kansas City 26-10 in the season opener, Tennessee has since gone on to lose consecutive games to Dallas, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. None of the games have even really been close, representing a dramatic falloff for Ken Whisenhunt in his first season in charge in Nashville.

Last weekend, the Titans simply couldn't keep up in a 41-17 loss to division rival Indianapolis.

Of course, it didn't help that Jake Locker was unable to play, meaning none other than Charlie Whitehurst had to step in. Whitehurst had 177 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception, with his performance leaving a lot to be desired. Backup Zach Mettenberger came in during garbage time to go 2-of-5 for 17 yards and a pick.

Elsewhere, Bishop Sankey was the most productive back in the Tennessee backfield, running six times for 34 yards and a touchdowns and he added a couple catches to boot. Delanie Walker again had an effective day as the Titans' top target, reeling in five catches for 84 yards and a score, but it was a day to forget for the likes of Shonn Greene, Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter, with the latter two each fumbling the ball away.

Now the Titans get a crack at the Browns, who were off this past week.

Cleveland has started off with mixed results, alternating losses and wins through their first three games. They lost to Pittsburgh and Baltimore, but the Browns were able to get an impressive home win over Drew Brees and the Saints in Week 2. They've also managed to be highly competitive in each and every game thus far, and you'd have to think that trend will continue against this under-performing Tennessee team.

Brian Hoyer remains the starting quarterback, and Cleveland also had Jordan Cameron back and nearing full strength. However, Ben Tate remains questionable heading into the weekend.

 

Suarez Says:
With our free picks for Week 5, we don't anticipate seeing these offenses impress much at all. Hoyer hasn't been terrible by any means, but he's hardly Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. Ditto for Tennessee's quarterback situation, though at least they'll have Locker back and not have to turn to Whitehurst.

But we digress. These two defenses have talent, and Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton used to do his bidding in Cleveland. He may have some tricks under his sleeve for this encounter with his old team.

We just can't see how this game goes over the total, so we'll be backing the "under" with our NFL picks this weekend. Shaky QB play from Hoyer and Locker should help keep this one relatively low-scoring.

NFL Pick: UNDER at 5Dimes

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