Ravens-Browns Monday Night NFL Picks: Our Experts Final Thoughts

Kevin Stott

Monday, November 30, 2015 11:46 AM GMT

Ravens & Browns face each other tonight on an AFC North clash that matters little to these teams, but matters quite a bit for those who can see the value in the NFL odds for their NFL picks. 

The Baltimore Ravens head to FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Monday night to face the Browns in an AFC North game which really matters little to either team but which seems to possibly hold some intriguing value with the Point Spread as well as on the Money Line the way they both are due to the injury to Ravens regular starting QB Joe Flacco last weekend in Week 11 play. So what’s the best approach and picks with the Browns solid 3½-point chalks almost everywhere and as high as +175 dogs on the Money Line? Dare we fade the Browns in the Dawg Pound after Cleveland and QB Josh McCown passed for almost 400 yards in the first meeting in Crab City? Let’s dive in and think about it all.

 

Odds Overview
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Tuesday [01:30] (ESPN, WatchESPN, Directv 206 (US), Sky Sports 1/HD (UK), 8:30 p.m. EST/5:30 p.m. PST): The Baltimore Ravens (3-7 SU, 1-7-2 ATS) head to FirstEnergy Field in Cleveland (Weather Forecast: Mostly Cloudy, 46°, Winds SW at 7 to 12 mph, 65% Humidity) on Monday night to face the Cleveland Browns (2-8 SU, 3-6-1 ATS) in a meaningless AFC North meeting between two teams already looking forward to next year. Current Odds have the Browns in a range of as 3- to 4-point favorites with BetCRIS and Treasure Island still showing 3’s and Bovada, Heritage, Sportbet and Coast Casinos all still showing 4’s. The Total Points in this game is 41½ (Bet365). In the Money Line (Winner) marketplace, the Browns are solid -190 favorites with the Ravens priced at +175 on the takeback now as Road underdogs (5Dimes). The Cleveland Browns Total Team Points is at 22½ (Ladbrokes) while the Baltimore Ravens Team Total Points is at 19 (Ladbrokes).

 

L6 Final Scores Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns in Cleveland
2014—Ravens 23 Browns 21 (BAL -1½) Total Points Scored: 44 (O, 43)
2013—Browns 24 Ravens 18 (BAL -1) Total Points Scored: 42 (U, 42½)
2012—Ravens 25 Browns 15 (BAL -3½) Total Points Scored: 40 (U, 38)
2011—Ravens 24 Browns 10 (BAL -7) Total Points Scored: 34 (U, 38)
2010—Ravens 20 Browns 10 (BAL -3½) Total Points Scored: 30 (U, 39½)
2009—Ravens 16 Browns 0 (BAL -11) Total Points Scored: 16 (U, 39½)

 

Why the Underdog Ravens on Money Line Without Flacco? (In List Form Please, Pops)
The Browns lined at -190 (5Dimes) is an oddsmakers reaction to having Matt Schaub in and starting for Joe Flacco for the Ravens here, so seemingly about 3 points of Point Spread for a theoretical Schaub-Josh McCown Pitcher’s Duel on Monday Night Football. It will be the 34-year-old veteran Schaub’s first start since 2013 and he will have his work cut out for him as Cleveland and head Coach Mike Pettine will likely lean to McCown after what backup and potential starter here Johnny Manziel did off the field. In the meeting earlier this season in Baltimore, McCown threw for the most Passing Yards the Baltimore Defense has allowed this season (457), so although this series has trended to the Under here in Cleveland lately, buyer beware with the 2009 NFL Passing Yards leader Schaub and McNown battling in a meaningless game on Primetime TV and the Browns coming in with a 4-0 Over Record here at Home so far this season. Anyway, that list before the meteor hits.
1—The Ravens are 13-2 the L15 SU against their AFC North rival the Browns.
2—Baltimore is 7-2 in its L9 SU here in Cleveland at FirstEnergy Stadium (2013-Present) and at Cleveland Browns Stadium (2006-2012).
3—Baltimore always expects to beat Cleveland. Home and Away. Good season bad season. Rain or shine. Lifetime, the Ravens are a dominating 24-9-0 SU against the Browns (22.9 PF-14.8 PA), winning 72.8% of the 33 meetings in this AFC North series Straight Up (SU).
4—There is definite perceived value in taking Baltimore both ATS getting that jagged 3½ (or 4) points most places as well as on the Money Line where the current high in the marketplace looks like the +175 hanging at Offshore operator 5Dimes. If there was ever an uneasy Favorite in the NFL, it may be Cleveland which has only assumed that role one twice this Regular Season—covering -1 here at Home against the Titans in Week 2 (W 28-14) and losing ATS a week later in Week 3 in Nashville as big 3½-point Favorites to the Oakland Raiders (L 27-20).
5—The Ravens were 72-40 SU in their L7 seasons without finishing under .500 once while the Browns were 34-78 over their L7 seasons without a winning season. One team is used to winning while the other is used to losing.
6—Pride. And Revenge. And 8th-year man John Harbaugh (69-61-5 ATS) is a much better and more experienced Head Coach than is the Browns 2nd-year man Mike Pettine (12-12-2 ATS).

 

Why Back the Baltimore Ravens at +3½ & On the Money Line?
Because they’re playing the Browns? Because there’s a game on primetime TV and nothing else and betting basketball causes ulcers quicker? Because of The Dangling Hook (that extra ½ on top of the 3 points we’re getting)? Yes, yes and yes. Even though key Ravens Offensive Skill Position players like QB Flacco (Knee, ACL, MCL, Out For Season), RB Justin Forsett (Arm, Injured Reserve List), star veteran WR Steve Smith (Achilles, Out for season), WR Breshad Perriman (Knee, Injured Reserve List), WR Michael Campanaro (Back, Injured Reserve List) and WR Marlon Brown (Back, Doubtful), new QB Schaub will still have enough to work with to make a run at 30 points if everything goes the Ravens way. With TE Nick Boyle (Foot) listed as Probable and fellow TEs Maxx Williams and Crockett Gillmore and WRs Kamar Aiken and Chris Givens and 4th-Round Rookie RB Buck Allen (USC) filling in for the injured Forsett at RB, Baltimore will find a way and expect the Defense to turn it up a notch knowing it allowed 33 in the first meeting and knowing that both QB Flacco and RB Forsett are now missing. The Ravens can win this one and priced at +175 (5Dimes) because of the Flacco injury makes it definitely worth a shot at a very moderate level in my mind.

 

Thoughts On The Total (Points)?
Lowest Total in Market: 41
Consensus Totals in Market: 41s and 41½s
Highest Total in Market: 42 Over -108 (Heritage)
Totals Trends, Thoughts: Cleveland is 4-0 Over at Home—yes they’ve only played 4 Home games so far heading into Week 12—and will be coming in well-rested off their Open Date and have a QB in McNown who has already had a field day against this Ravens Defense in that first meeting earlier this season at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore in a 33-30 OT win, with the game going 20 points Over the posted 43 Total, while the last meeting here in Cleveland, the Ravens won 23-21 in Week 3 last season with that game here in the Buckeye State also trickling Over its posted Total of 43 by 1 point. But that has been the exception, with the Under 7-3 ATS in the L10 meetings in this series—despite those L2 Overs—and the Under 7-2 ATS the L9 Browns games in November. So the thought is at 41, the number seems low and both teams should probably find a way to score over 20 points, even with Baltimore starting Old Man Schaub, who may be a little rusty although there is nothing wrong with a little rusty Schaub, right Mets fans?

 

Overview and How Should This AFC North Week 12 Bore Bowl Play Out?
The Weather doesn’t look too cold that it will affect the hands of QBs and WRs here and with nothing to lose and 63 points already scored in the first meeting, putting up around 45 points combined on primetime TV seems doable with the Browns having some nice Skill Position players in RB Isaiah Crowell, TE Gary Barnidge and especially WRs Travis Benjamin and Andrew Hawkins and coming in with 13 precious Days of Rest off their Open Date in Week 11. Because the game is so meaningless, this could lead to some mentally lazy play and because it looks like McNown and Schaub will be in the saddle for both teams, the football should be in the air a lot. Expect Baltimore to show it can hang with Heart and Grit in not only an Injury-plagued season, but in one which at least three key stalwarts off of this team for the past several years—WR Torrey Smith (49ers), TE Owen Daniel (Broncos) and NT Haloti Ngata (Lions)—all flew the coup in the Offseason. But still, the dismal 3 Wins and just 1 ATS cover are bad for even all of the personnel loss through Injury and Transactions. Expect a close game here with the lead possibly changing hands much and Baltimore always remembering they are playing the Cleveland Browns throughout. And if the Ravens DBs can keep Browns receivers Benjamin and Hawkins at bay, then the visitors can definitely win in a series where they are seldom if ever and Underdog as they are on Monday night in Cleveland.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Baltimore Ravens 24 - Cleveland Browns 22
NFL WEEK 12 FREE PICKS: Ravens +4 (Coast Casinos), Ravens Moneyline +175 (5Dimes), Over 41 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), Baltimore Ravens Team Total Over 19 (Ladbrokes)

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