The New England Patriots are scheduled to play the Cleveland Browns on the road in an AFC interdivisional game Sunday afternoon in the early time slot.
The line opened last week with the Patriots listed as a 1.5-point pick. The number since has flipped to the Browns by 2.5-3 points at DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and PointsBet.
Let’s take a look at the latest Patriots vs. Browns odds on Sunday as well as our prediction.
NFL Odds: Point Spread, Moneyline, Total
Here are Patriots vs. Browns odds from around the sports betting marketplace.
NFL · Sun (10/16) @ 1:02pm ET
|FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio|
Patriots-Browns AFC Interdivisional Game on Sunday Afternoon
New England (2-3) is coming off a 29-0 victory against a Detroit team that was leading the league in offense through four weeks. It marked the fourth straight season the Patriots held a foe scoreless. In that span, there have been 20 teams that didn’t have even one shutout.
And from the anything can happen department: The last time a team that ended the regular season with the top-ranked offense had been shut out at any time that year occurred in 1964 when the Baltimore Colts fell to Cleveland in the NFL title game. The old Browns defense happened to be ranked last in the league.
The new Browns, meanwhile, were losing yet another gut-wrencher last week 30-28 at home to the LA Chargers. A key play occurred with the Browns trailing by two when Cleveland QB Jacoby Brissett threw an INT from the LA 9-yard line in the closing minutes when he could have easily run for a first down (and maybe even scored).
And in Week 2, the Browns had another agonizing home loss when they grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory against the NY Jets by scoring a rub-it-in TD inside two minutes instead of killing the clock by taking a knee before crossing the goal line. The Jets got the ball back and scored two TDs in the final moments to prevail.
In last year’s meeting, when the host Patriots trampled the Browns 45-7, then-rookie QB Mac Jones had by far the best day of his NE career with a 142.1 passer rating and three TD throws. Especially impressive was that the Patriots had TD drives of 99, 92, and 95 yards. No team has had that many 90-plus-yard marches in a game in the past five years.
But, alas, Jones suffered a high ankle sprain and has missed the past two weeks. He’s questionable for Sunday. His veteran backup, Brian Hoyer (concussion), was placed on IR.
But third-stringer Bailey Zappe did just fine last week, going 17-for-21 for 188 yards in his first start. The only drawback was that the Patriots scored only one offensive TD and settled for FGs five times. He also saw plenty of action a week earlier in Green Bay after Hoyer got hurt, getting his pro baptism in an overtime loss to the Packers.
As for Cleveland, the league’s best rushing attack is led by RB Nick Chubb, who tops with 593 yards and a 6.1 average. And for those keeping track, QB Deshaun Watson still has to sit out six more games before his suspension expires.
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Patriots vs. Browns NFL Prediction
The Browns have been a soft touch for enemy running backs this season, highlighted by Austin Ekeler’s 173 rush yards last week, the high for anyone in a game this year. And for the second consecutive week, Cleveland yielded more than 200 ground yards.
On Sunday, they’ll have to contend with Rhamondre Stevenson, who had a career-best 161 rush yards last week vs. Detroit. But RB cohort, Damien Harris, is listed as doubtful (hamstring).
And when defending against the pass, Cleveland surely was expecting more of a pass rush than the one sack they had on LA’s Justin Herbert in 35 drop-backs last week with the return of star DEs Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett to the lineup.
As for Zappe, coach Bill Belichick might help keep him out of trouble as he did with Jones last year in a win against the Bills when NE threw only three passes and ran the ball 46 times.
Something like that could well happen again this week.
Prediction: Patriots 19, Browns 14