NFL Picks: Bills vs. Browns Betting the Total

Doug Upstone

Thursday, October 3, 2013 12:35 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 12:35 PM GMT

This AFC encounter has two teams playing better than NFL football handicappers expected early in the year. But will either offense be strong to surpass a sinking total? Find out which side of the Over/Under we are liking with our NFL picks.

Buffalo’s running back by committee to be tested 

 

Both C.J. Spiller (ankle) and Fred Jackson (knee) were injured last week and on a short week, it is easy to assume neither will 100 percent and the distinct possibility exists both may not play. Jackson is thought to be the healthier of the two and could be teamed with third-stringer Tashard Choice. 

Jackson has some shake to his game and has the ability to hit the hole hard and bounce outside, though might have speed limitations with the knee. Choice is a plant-and-go runner, meaning he sticks his foot in the ground and that is the direction he runs. He lacks a burst and has to have a hole to run through to be effective. 

Cleveland is very stout against the run, ranked 4th in the NFL at 79 yards allowed and just 2.9 yards per carry. The Browns have the capability to limit Buffalo on the ground which could suppress their offense, as noted by the NFL odds total cascading downward.

Review our NFL Picks: Bills vs. Browns Early Odds Report to check out our early predictions.

Cleveland must protect the ball to score

The above title is a cliché, yet it is very appropriate for this matchup. Quarterback Brian Hoyer has passed for an average of 276.5 yards in his two starts for the Browns and will take on a Buffalo defense which 30th in total defense, thus the home team should move the ball. 

Where the Bills have enjoyed defense success is taking the ball away with 11 turnovers and despite an unsightly defensive ranking, they are 11th in the NFL in yards per point allowed.

Cleveland should move the pigskin the way Hoyer shares the ball with his receivers, but the Browns cannot waste opportunities to score, which would immensely impact the total for bettors making sports picks.

NFL Picks: Bills vs. Browns ATS Picks

Reading the coaches 

Both first-year head coaches have spent the vast majority of their time on the offensive side of the ball in there playing days and coaching stops.

Doug Marrone likes the physical aspects of the game being a former offensive lineman, yet at Syracuse and now with the Cleveland, has shown a proclivity to adapting to what the defense gives him and will definitely ride the hot hand, like running 55 times last week against Baltimore. Marrone has been aggressive throughout his coaching career and his teams have scored with the right talent. 

Rob Chudzinski caught some flack at Carolina, but he’s thought of as bright offensive mind and he’s not been afraid to have Hoyer run the offense in spite of understanding his team’s limitations in the running game. Cleveland may not be thought of as throwing team, but they are tied for the most pass attempts in the NFL.

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The Total is trending downward 

Sportsbooks popped this total out at 41 points Sunday night and it has been lowered slightly to 40.5, which would tend to favor Cleveland who is 24-11 UNDER the past few years. At last peak, just under half of those making NFL picks were on the Under.

Total Mania 

Since 2004, the Brownies are 22-11 UNDER as a home favorite and 24-14 UNDER as single digit betting choice. Cleveland is averaging just 16 points a contest, but in the one game they faced a pedestrian defense in Minnesota, they scored 31 points and should reach the 20’s on Thursday. 

Buffalo is a solid 6-0 OVER off an upset win as an underdog against the betting odds the last three seasons. I am not really certain the Bills will move the football with regularity against Cleveland, but should have enough success to make the total an interesting wager.

I think the number the NFL odds makers set was very accurate, but with drop in the total, I’ll go against the public with my NFL picks

Free NFL Pick – Play Over 41.5
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