On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons head north to take on the Cleveland Browns. The Falcons look to win their 4th straight game and stay within striking distance of an NFC Wild Card spot. The Browns hope to break their 4 game losing streak and get a big win under interim coach Gregg Williams. Kickoff inside FirstEnergy Stadium is at 1 PM ET.
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Sunday’s matchup between the Browns and Falcons marks the 15th time these two teams have played against each other. Cleveland has dominated this series with a record of 11-3. The Browns have won 3 of the last 4 meetings. However, the last time the Falcons played in Cleveland (2010) they won 20-10.
Atlanta (4-4) is only 1-2 on the road, but they’re coming off an impressive road win last weekend where they demolished a good Washington football team by a score of 38-14. The Falcons are starting to hit their stride after a tough opening quarter of the season. At 1-4, the Falcons were thought to be done for the year. However, a 3 game winning streak has restored optimism with this team and the fanbase.
Cleveland (2-6-1) actually has a decent overall home record of 2-2-1. However, they’re coming off a blowout loss at home this past Sunday to the Chiefs by a score of 37-21. Cleveland has actually lost 2 straight home games and are in danger of losing their 5th straight game. Can the Browns stop their nosedive or will they fall further into the NFL abyss?
At most online sportsbooks, the spread opened with the Falcons favored by 3.5 to 4 points. Since then, the spread has moved as high as 7 points at some betting sites before settling at the current line of 6 points in favor of Atlanta. The Over/Under opened at 50.5 total points with most sportsbooks, but it hasn’t seen as much movement and remains unchanged with most betting sites.
Free Spread Bet and NFL Game Prediction: Falcons -6 points
Atlanta comes into this matchup looking like they’ve fixed some of their problems and have learned to overcome some of their early season injuries. The Falcons offense has also started hitting their stride as they’ve averaged just under 33 ppg during this winning streak. That’s above their season average of 28.5 ppg.
Also during the winning streak, Atlanta QB Matt Ryan has thrown for 350+ yards per game. Julio Jones has been the recipient of Ryan’s output as he’s averaged 123 receiving ypg. Additionally, the defense has played better as they’ve only given up 21 ppg, which is down from their season average of 28.3 ppg.
I expect Matt Ryan to continue his hot hand this weekend as the Browns give up 299.3 passing ypg and 27.4 ppg. Additionally, I also see the Atlanta running game of Smith and Coleman totaling over 120 yards this weekend due to a bad Browns rush defense that allows 138.9 ypg. This Sunday’s matchup could be another 30+ performance for the Falcons.
On the Cleveland side of things, nothing appears to be going right. Since their upset win over Baltimore 5 games ago, the Browns have lost 4 straight. During that losing streak, Cleveland has given up 33.5 ppg and has only scored
Also during their losing streak, the Browns are allowing opposing QB’s to throw for 301 ypg and nearly 2 TDs per game. The Cleveland defense is allowing 166.75 rushing ypg and 2.5 rushing TDs per game. I don’t see the Browns turning these things around so soon, especially after firing their head coach and offensive coordinator a week and a half ago.
Cleveland is 2-22-1 SU in their last 25 games, 3-18-1 SU and 6-16 ATS in their last 22 home games, 3-7 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 7 points at home, 11-26 ATS and 2-35 SU as an underdog over the last 3 seasons, 0-8 SU and 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games during November, 2-8 ATS and 0-10 SU in their last 10 games against the NFC. Atlanta is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games during November and 5-2 ATS against teams with losing records during the 2nd half of the regular
For this game, I think the betting lock is the Falcons moneyline of -255. However, it doesn’t offer a lot of value. I don’t believe the Browns will win this game, so their moneyline of +215 isn’t worth a flier. The Over/Under is inconsistent at best with these two teams. Atlanta should score close to 30 points again, but will the Browns be able to cross the 20 point threshold? I don’t like the uncertainty of that either.
I’m taking the Falcons spread of -6 points (-110) in this game as I feel they will win by at least a touchdown. Cleveland’s defense has fallen to one of the worst in the league and I don’t see them slowing down Atlanta’s offense. I also don’t see Cleveland’s offense being able to hang with Atlanta in this game. Look for the Atlanta rushing attack to have a big game and make it even easier for Matt Ryan to pass for more than 300 yards.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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