Bills vs. Browns Odds & Picks: Is Now the Time to Buy Cleveland?

Bills vs. Browns Odds & Picks: Is Now the Time to Buy Cleveland? article feature image

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17).

  • Should you buy the Cleveland Browns as home favorites against the Buffalo Bills?
  • Our experts analyze the betting odds and make their picks.

Bills at Browns Odds & Picks

  • Odds: Browns -2.5
  • Over/Under: 40
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

Odds as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The Browns are on four-game losing streak in the midst of what was supposed to be great season. They’ll look to right the ship at home against the Bills, who are trending in the opposite direction.

Cleveland is the favorite in this matchup, but bettors are heavily backing Buffalo with more than 70% of betting tickets taking the road team as of writing. Should you go against the public and roll with the Browns?

Our experts break down every angle of this matchup, from the biggest mismatch to how to bet the spread.

Bills-Browns Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Bills

Unless something changes between now and Friday, the Bills are trending toward having everyone healthy on Sunday.

Edge defender Olivier Vernon (knee) is the main person of interest on the Browns; he hasn’t practiced yet this week. His potential absence would be good news for Josh Allen since Vernon leads the team in quarterback hurries and hits, and is second on the team in pressures. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Fantasy-Football-Half PPR-Rankings-Week-1-2019
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Nick Chubb

Biggest Mismatch

Nick Chubb (& Kareem Hunt) vs. Buffalo’s Run Defense

The Bills are thought to have a good defense, but a soft schedule has masked their issues with defending the run. Buffalo is currently fielding the league’s 30th-ranked run defense in DVOA (per Football Outsiders) and allowing 4.57 yards per carry to backs (24th).

During a three-play stretch in the second quarter last week, Adrian Peterson partied like it was 2009 on the Bills defense, rattling off gains of 18, 17, and 28 on successive plays. Overall, he finished with 18 carries for 108 yards (6.0 yards per carry).

The week prior, it was Miles Sanders housing it from five yards out to finish with a 3-74-1 line, while Jordan Howard (23-96-1) and Boston Scott (5-6-1) also scored.

In Chubb, the Browns have the second-place leader in rushing yards per game and now they also get Hunt, who won the 2017 rushing title as a rookie with 1,327 yards.

As we saw in New England, the Browns can royally screw up simple things like putting the ball in Chubb’s gut, but this is a prime opportunity for Kitchens to right the Titanic.

Despite being 2-6 and going up against 6-2 Bills, the Browns (24th) rank one spot better than the Bills (25th) in overall DVOA, while Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System gives the Bills a 0.6 edge-point on a neutral field, which explains why Buffalo is a dog on the road despite the four-win advantage. — Chris Raybon

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Browns -3
  • Projected Total: 40.5

I faded the Browns against the Broncos purely because I didn’t think the drop-off from Joe Flacco to Brandon Allen should not be worth 5.5 points (which is roughly how much the market moved the line).

But I think buying low on the Browns here make sense. They’re now -0.6 wins below their Pythagorean win expectation while the Bills are 1.1 wins over their own. That’s a net of +1.7 wins in favor of Cleveland.

The Browns are one of the biggest disappointments of 2019, but I’m ready to start buying low as they’re still an above-average team on paper and could start putting it all together this week.

It’s key to get them at -2.5 as we want to lock that in before it moves up to the key number of 3. Despite 73% of spread tickets coming in on the Bills as of writing (see live public betting data here), the line does appear to be moving toward -3, a clear sign that sharps are likely backing the Browns here as well. Sean Koerner

PRO System Match

The Bills have been one of the surprise teams this season starting 6-2 and more importantly for bettors covering the spread in five of eight games. The Browns, on the other hand, were expected to contender for a Super Bowl but are 2-6 straight up and against the spread.

Given each team’s recent performance on the field and at the ticket window, a majority of spread tickets are on the Bills to cover. This is not a surprise as gamblers love a team that has shown an ability to cash for bettors.

But history suggests gamblers shouldn’t expect each team to continue their covering ways. ATS records tend to regress to the mean over the course of a season as bookmakers adjust to team performance and public perception. As a result, it’s been profitable to bet teams with bad ATS records against opponents with winning ATS records.

Following this simple Pro System, bettors have gone 171-104-9 (62.2%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,759 following this strategy.

Bettors are counting Cleveland out against Buffalo, but history suggests gamblers shouldn’t be surprised if Baker Mayfield and the Browns cover. John Ewing

PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.

Expert Pick

Stuckey: Browns -2.5

This is my favorite buy-low/sell-high spot of the weekend.

Yes, the Bills are 6-2, but they’ve beat absolutely nobody: Jets, Giants, Dolphins, Bengals, Redskins, Titans. They have six wins with an almost impossibly low strength of victory of .176 for that many wins. In the AFC, only the Dolphins and Bengals have lower SOV’s and that’s because they’ve combined for exactly one win, which came over the lowly Jets.

The Bills pass defense has played at a high level — albeit against mostly poor quarterbacks — thanks to safeties who give up nothing deep and a solid group of corners, and I expect that to continue barring injuries.

However, the run defense is very vulnerable, which you saw the Eagles exploit a few weeks ago.

In a game that should feature windy conditions, I trust Chubb and the Cleveland rushing attack much more than Buffalo. There aren’t many quarterbacks I trust less than Mayfield right now — he’s been as bad as people are saying; just look at his horrid numbers when he’s not being pressure — but I’d still take him and his group of receivers over Allen and the Bills.

When the Bills went to New England in windy conditions a few weeks ago, the game plan was to feed Chubb against a great pass defense and vulnerable run defense. And if not for some flukey turnovers, they may have pulled out a win. I think that’s the plan again on Sunday (with a few shots downfield) for a Cleveland squad that ranks second in the NFL at 5.2 yards per rush.

Baker Mayfield has the lowest passer rating in the NFL when not under pressure this season per @NextGenStats. He is the only QB with more INT than TD passes when not pressured.

— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 5, 2019

Buy low on the Brownies to pick up a home win against a severely overrated Bills bunch that has six wins thanks to a cupcake schedule.

Also, keep your eye out for the impact of hidden yardage, especially in the punt game, as the Browns have the significantly better special teams.

Points may come at a premium in this one, so I actually threw the Browns moneyline in a parlay with the Colts moneyline, but will also be on the Browns -2.5/3. Anything at 3 or under is good in my book.

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