NFL · Sun (9/12) @ 4:25pm ET
|Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri|
Rematch/revenge games are a lot of fun to talk about, and the NFL has gifted fans with a great one as part of the Week One schedule for the 2021 NFL season. It looks like the Cleveland Browns are heading back to Kansas City for a rematch with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Their divisional-round game was surprisingly competitive last season. While the Chiefs won in the end, the Browns made more of a statement. They proved they could play with the league’s best. Of course, the real trick is pulling off the upset and winning the game. Can they do it this time?
Much like their playoff meeting, the NFL betting odds do not favor the Browns.
A team must put some points on the board to beat the Kansas City Chiefs. But they also must be capable of keeping the Chiefs from doing the same. During last season’s playoff game, the Browns showed they could drive the ball on the Chiefs defense.
But they could not get a stop when they needed on the most.
Between the draft and free agency, the Browns should be better in the secondary and at linebacker. Good enough to make life hard on Patrick Mahomes? If Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney can put some pressure on Mahomes—maybe.
Should they pull off a trade for Dolphins defensive back Xavien Howard, the Browns secondary could be the best in the league.
Offensively, the Browns appear to be in fantastic shape. Their offensive line ranks No. 1 in the league, according to PFF, and should open some nice holes for Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. Factor in the return of Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield looking to prove he is worth a massive extension, and the Browns might have a top-five offense this season.
"I wouldn't bat an eye if this turned out to be the AFC Championship game. Patrick Mahomes is the biggest show in the NFL…The Browns defense is going to be amazing this season." – @AdamSchein on Browns vs. Chiefs in Week 1 pic.twitter.com/2Imu5Ou1MO
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) May 12, 2021
Kansas City Chiefs
The focus of the offseason was to improve the offensive line, which the Chiefs did. However, the unit has already taken its first hit, with Kyle Long going down with an injury. While he could still play in Week One, he is expected to be out for training camp and the preseason.
If he is out in Week One, the Chiefs may have to get creative to block Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney.
With or without Long on the offensive line, the Chiefs offense will be the same juggernaut fans have come to know and love the last few years. But it is hard to say how good the defense might be. Frank Clark will likely be out due to some offseason trouble. However, the Chiefs did recently resign Alex Okafor; so, the pass rush might not take much of a step back (if at all).
But the defense was only average on its best day. Without an infusion of some much-needed talent, it is hard to say the unit will be better in 2021.
Which Week 1 matchup are you most excited for?
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) May 12, 2021
Prediction And NFL Betting Recommendation
It is easy to get lulled into a false sense of security with how close the Browns played the Chiefs in the playoffs last season. But you must remember the Chiefs did not have Patrick Mahomes in the second half. But it does not look like too many people have faith in the Browns. About 70 percent of the bets and handle on this game is on the Chiefs.
Should the gap get any wider, sportsbooks could look to adjust the spread to encourage betting on the Browns. So– are the Browns worth betting on?
At six points? Probably not. But if the spread reaches seven, the Browns will become an intriguing bet. However, whether they are a good one will depend on how you think their defense will perform.
For now, take the Chiefs and give the points without hesitation. But if the spread goes up, consider putting a little down on the Browns (but just a little).