Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens play host to the Cleveland Browns in a big AFC North date for both teams. Handicapping the L10+ games in this series reveals a very strong Trend to the Under.
What: NFL Week 5—Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
When: Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 1 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 64°, Winds W 3-8 mph, 42% Relative Humidity
Current Low Point Spread: Ravens -6 -118 (5Dimes)
Current Point Spread: Ravens -6½ (Pretty much everywhere Thursday afternoon)
Current High Point Spread: Ravens -7 +110 (5Dimes)
Lowest Total in Marketplace: 43 (Pretty much everywhere Thursday afternoon)
Highest Total in Marketplace: 43½ (MGM Mirage)
Alternate Total: Under 44 -142, Over 40 +105 (bet365)
Alternate Total: Under 44½ -150, Over 44 +110 (bet365)
Current Realities Heading Into This Game
The Baltimore Ravens will possibly be without one of their best players, veteran WR Steve Smith (Doubtful), for this Home game on Sunday, and coming off that huge OT win in Pittsburgh in Week 4 to earn their first Win of the season, the Ravens should be in a good frame of mind here and no doubt the crowd will be a little juiced, knowing the significance of the game and the implications of both potential 2-3 and 1-4 records. The last thing Head Coach John Harbaugh (69-58-4 ATS) and the Ravens (23/1 to win AFC, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) want is for the Cleveland Browns to burst their bubble, cripple their Postseason hopes early and send them to 1-4 after that Miracle in the Steel City, rallying from 10 down with less than 3 minutes to go to force OT and then win it and rescue victory from the jaws of defeat. And Momentum that comes from a game like win over Pittsburgh that is invaluable. But the focus here is on the Total, and of concern to potential Under players is the fact that Cleveland (135/1 to win AFC, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) currently has the worst statistical Defense in the NFL, having allowed 1,625 Total Yards and a musty average of 406.3 ypg. And Baltimore’s Defense—the Ravens D currently ranks #14, having allowed 1,388 Total Yards (347.0 ypg)—is also a concern for the Under bettor, and has seemingly been much better in past seasons. But it’s important to remember here that the Blackbirds have opened with 3 of 4 Road games, all against pretty tough competition away from home (Broncos, Raiders, Steelers). And Cleveland has opened up with the Jets, Titans, Raiders and Chargers—none of whom made the Postseason last year—so the Browns Offense can’t be be judged by that questionable lot. No way, no how. In its L5 games here in Baltimore against the Ravens, Cleveland has averaged just 12.6 ppg (10, 6, 16, 14, 17) and with the Ravens 13-1 in their L14 SU vs. Browns and motivated, Cleveland TDs should be scarce (0, 1 or 2) here at M&T Bank Stadium in Crab City on Sunday. Here are the Final Scores from the last 10 Regular Season meetings between the Browns and the Ravens (2010-2014).
Totals Results in the L10 Meetings Between Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens
2014-@ Ravens 20 Browns 10 Total: 40 Result: UNDER
2014-Ravens 23 @ Browns 21 Total: 43 Result: OVER (by 1 point)
2013-@ Browns 24 Ravens 18 Total: 42½ Result: UNDER (by ½ point)
2013-@ Ravens 14 Browns 6 Total: 43½ Result: UNDER
2012-Ravens 25 @ Browns 15 Total: 44½ Result: UNDER
2012-@ Ravens 23 Browns 16 Total: 43½ Result: UNDER
2011-@ Ravens 20 Browns 14 Total: 38 Result: UNDER
2011-Ravens 24 @ Browns 10 Total: 38 Result: UNDER
2010-Ravens 20 @ Browns 10 Total: 39½ Result: UNDER
2010-@ Ravens 24 Browns 17 Total: 36½ Result: OVER
Recent Series Trends and Game Expectations
The Final Scores for the L10 meetings between these two blue-collar AFC North teams shows a tally of 8 Unders and 2 Overs and a distinct low-scoring pattern with the highest total score (44 points) coming last year in this series in the meeting in Cleveland (Ravens 23-21, Over 43) and the Browns averaging just 14.4 ppg in the L10 meetings here. Cleveland has lost 13 of the L14 meetings in this series and hasn’t won here at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore since the 2007 Regular Season (Browns 33-30, OT), so we can expect the host Ravens (9/2 to win AFC North, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) to control the game as they will be more motivated, at Home and will have the (much) better Defense. Besides the 8-2 ATS Under mark in the L10, the Under is 7-2 ATS in the L9 meetings in this series here in Baltimore and the Under in Ravens Week 5 is 6-2 over the L8. Also, the Under is 13-6 ATS in the L19 Baltimore games here at Home at M&T Bank. And even though Browns Overs are 4-0 ATS, those numbers came against the Jets, Titans Raiders and Chargers, and the Ravens will be primed to lockdown on Defense in this spot and the weather in the US is starting to turn colder (Weather forecast above) and there are now less minutes of Daylight after the Autumnal Equinox—seemingly good things for the Under.
First Quarter totals in all 8 Ravens and Browns games (both teams combined) played so far this year? Baltimore: 6, 20, 7 and 10; and, Cleveland: 0, 14, 3 and 10. So, 2-2 (O/U) for both in the 1Q with all four games for both teams alternating with Under-Over-Under-Over in the 1st Quarter for the first four games (Weeks 1-4). So, the pattern is for an Under in this 1Q. But too much balance, and no lean here. Expect the Browns (30/1 to win AFC North, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) and QB Josh McCown (11-13 ATS on Road) to come out and try to throw against the Baltimore Defense, which has allowed a gaudy 26 ppg. But again, those were games against three AFC Playoff teams last year—the Broncos, Bengals and Steelers—and three of the four were on the Road, including the Regular Season opener against the Broncos in Denver (Broncos 19-13). This one may come close to the posted Total, but with situation, forecasted Weather, the Browns track record in this series in Baltimore and recent Trends, backing the Under for a modest amount—even at an Alternate line—is the recommended NFL pick.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Baltimore Ravens 27 & Cleveland Browns 16
NFL WEEK 5 TOTALS PICK: Under 44½ (-150) at Bet365