Total to Offer Best NFL Picks Value in Ravens vs. Browns

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 5:52 PM GMT

The NFL betting lines are tight between two familiar foes in Cleveland and Baltimore for Week 3. Both teams are 1-1 on the season, with one set to move to 2-1 after Sunday's over and done with. Which team will get our backing with our NFL picks?

***UPDATE
A small shift has the Ravens favored by two points for now, as earlier lines had a spread of 1.5 for the offering. If you think there's value in a total play, you can currently locate an O/U of 41.

The Browns have been a pleasant surprise early this season, and now they get a crack at the Ravens at home, with hopes of moving to 2-1.

Ben Tate is out, so rookie Terrance West will pick up another start at running back. There are still question marks surrounding Jordan Cameron, who's listed as questionable right now. 

The Ravens have listed Bernard Pierce as questionable, but don't really have any other significant injury worries to report.

We have a small lean on Baltimore in this spot, as we still believe them to be the better overall team, and these NFL odds are quite appealing at that short number. However, we're inclined to recommend the UNDER instead, as we expect the two defenses to show up, leading to a low-scoring game.

NFL Pick: UNDER 41

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We saw an opening line of PK at the beginning of the week, but at time of writing the Ravens were favored by 1.5 points at a good chunk of the sportsbooks.

This should be a hard-nosed game with a lot of good defensive personnel on the field, so a low O/U of 42 makes sense.

Cleveland Browns in 2014-15 Regular Season: 1-1 SU, 2-0 ATS, -0.5 margin of victory

Baltimore Ravens in 2014-15 Regular Season: 1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS, +6.5 margin of victory

The Browns rebounded from a Week 1 loss in Pittsburgh to top Drew Brees and the Saints at home last week. Cleveland was a considerable underdog, but ended up as the 29-27 victor.

Without starting running back Ben Tate, more responsibility was put on the shoulders of rookie Terrance West, and he certainly came through. West ran 19 times for 68 yards and a touchdown and added two catches for 22 yards in the win.

Brian Hoyer was solid again in leading the offense, throwing for 204 yards and a touchdown without an interception. He linked up nicely with the likes of Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin, who had 12 catches for 114 yards and a score between them.

Will Cleveland be able to hold serve at home once again in Week 3?

The Ravens come into the weekend on the heels of a dominant 26-6 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday Night Football. They made life difficult on Ben Roethlisberger throughout, and offensively they were very efficient.

Joe Flacco completed 21-of-29 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns, both of which were hauled in by tight end Owen Daniels. Bernard Pierce chipped in with 22 carries for 96 yards, while Justin Forsett had 72 total yards in the victory. As evident by the score, however, Baltimore's defense was the star of the show.

This Week 3 battle appears to be one of the more difficult to break down to find value with an ATS pick. We may therefore be forced into a play on the game's total instead, with the 'under' on the NFL odds looking like the most attractive option for now.

Both defenses have shown good things this season, and these division battles always bring with them hard-nosed football. We expect a large emphasis on the run game for both teams here, regardless of who's in the backfield.

Come back and see us in a few days to see which way we end up going with our NFL picks.