NFL Picks: Bills vs. Browns Betting the Spread

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 6:56 PM GMT

For people who generally prefer a positive point of view no matter how glum like Gen-Xer’s, here is really excellent news. One of these two NFL teams will have surpassed preseason expectations and have a winning record by midnight Thursday.

Browns 2.0 seeking rarified air

The Browns two-game winning streak comes with Cleveland fans measuring their joy, with the unfortunate events to the Indians and Cavaliers in the playoffs the past two decades. Since returning the NFL in 1999 after a three-year hiatus, Cleveland has not put together a winning record after five games. In fact, the last time Browns fans could look down on other NFL teams with a hint of distain was 1994, when they were 6-1 and made the playoffs with some coach named Belichick. 

However, there is no denying the Browns defense, which is a top five stop unit to this point of the season. Cleveland strength is stopping the run, ranking fourth in yards allowed, with inside linebackers D'Qwell Jackson and Craig Robertson cleaning up what the defensive line has not contained. 

Just having cornerback Joe Haden in the secondary means opposing teams have to look elsewhere or know completions and yards with be a challenge to come by. NFL football handicappers are taking notice.

Check out our NFL Picks: Week 5 Betting Odds Report for up-to-date info on line movements.

Buffalo 2013 draft picks providing immediate results 

Every team says they want to build through the draft, yet there is a high failure rate for many organizations, not having the right people in place. Buffalo has often been one of these teams, but by all appearances they have hit the jackpot, with three very influential rookies making an immediate impact. 

The most obvious is EJ Manuel, who won the starting quarterback position. Manuel is far from a finished product, but he’s more mobile than Ryan Fitzpatrick (so are submarines) and he’s a better thrower than Trent Edwards or J. P. Losman. His demeanor is calm, yet you can see the burning desire in his eyes to win.

Second round draft choices Robert Woods and Kiko Alonso have shored up deficiencies. Woods is the extra receiver needed for the passing game to grow and Alonso has improved the linebacker play coming out of Oregon.

These three new faces are adding to the Bills respectability.

Take a look at my report on the Bills & Browns Opening Betting Lines.

Sportsbooks NFL Odds and Matchup Numbers

Cleveland opened as a field goal favorite on Sunday night and has grown to 3.5 by those moving the NFL odds. The Browns are 3-3 SU and ATS against the Bills since being rediscovered on the shores of Lake Erie.  Buffalo arrives with a 1-9 ATS road record after a home game.

The total has been stationary at 41, though the Bills are 6-0 OVER after an upset win as an underdog, for those interested in making NFL picks.

What to Watch For 

Buffalo is a better team when running the football which helps Manuel. C.J. Spiller is having a puzzling year and his status for Thursday remains in question with nagging injuries. This could mean more of Fred Jackson who is battling ailments of his own. If the Bills are forced to throw, their chances of winning and covering erode. 

A banged up Bills secondary held up against Baltimore, but Brian Hoyer is in harmony with his receivers and this group has to find ways to defend and hope a steady pass rush is an ally. 

Hoyer learned well in New England and coach Rob Chudzinski has the type of passing offense which allows his quarterback to find the right read and hit the correct receiver. Hoyer is very comfortable in this flow. The Cleveland running game is slowly evolving from pathetic to mediocre with Willis McGahee shaking off the rust. 

The Browns defense is gaining confidence and if they stop Buffalo on the ground and Haden can take away receiver Steve Johnson, you have to like their chances.

Also Check out our:

NFL Picks: Week 5 Value Picks

NFL Picks: Week 5 Fades & Games to Avoid

Final Outcome

I really like the swagger the Browns had against Cincinnati and I see this continuing about Buffalo, using Cleveland as one of my sports picks, winning by seven or more. 

NFL Football Free Pick: Cleveland -3.5
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