Bills vs Browns NFL Week 11 Odds, Picks
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Chubb.
- The Bills are home favorites over the Browns today in Detroit.
- The game was moved because of the massive snowstorm in Buffalo.
- Ricky Henne previews the game and makes his pick below.
Bills vs Browns Odds
Six feet of snow would have made for a glorious football setting. Alas, the Snowmageddon showdown between the Browns and Bills is no more as the NFL wisely moved the game to Detroit.
Mother nature seemed prime to do what few teams can: slow Buffalo’s offense. Now, Josh Allen and the NFL’s second-highest-scoring offense (28.7 points per game) gets to face a Cleveland defense that gives up the second-most points (26.4 points per game) at the domed Ford Field.
The Browns’ offense is no slouch, though, as Football Outsiders ranks it sixth in DVOA. There are plenty of signs that Nick Chubb may be in for a monster game against a Bills’ run defense that hasn’t been able to stop a cold of late.
Both teams are 4-5 against the spread this year, so something has to give. Let’s dig into the numbers.
Bills vs. Browns Matchup Analysis
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Bills vs. Browns DVOA Breakdown
Any concerns about Allen’s elbow are gone as he completed 29-of-43 passes for 330 yards and a score in Buffalo’s 33-30 overtime loss to the Vikings.
Now he has a juicy matchup against a second-rate Browns defense that ranks 31st in Adjusted Net Yards per Pass Attempt. Cleveland struggles getting to the quarterback as their 36 QB hits are the second fewest in the league, so Allen should have plenty of time to carve up an exploitable Cleveland secondary.
Buffalo figures to be in control if it protects the football, but that’s a bigif right now. Turnovers have plagued Allen, especially of late. He’s thrown a league-high 10 interceptions, including a pair in all of Buffalo’s last three games. Cleveland must take the ball away to have a chance, but there aren’t many signs it'll do that, since its three interceptions are the third fewest in the NFL.
What there are signs of, though, is a big game by the Browns rushing attack. The entire football world knows they want to ram the ball down your throat, and now they face a Bills team giving up 167.3 rushing yards per game over their last three games. Making matters worse is that three key members of their defense in Greg Rousseau, Tremaine Edmunds and Tre’Davious White have been ruled out.
Chubb clearly has a chance to run roughshod over the Bills. Football Outsiders ranks Chubb first in yards above replacement, and second in both DVOA and effective yards. His 10 runs of over 20 yards are three more than anyone else while his 19 broken tackles are third most in the league.
Chubb’s 5.7 yards per carry are second most among running backs with 100 carries, and his 2.7 yards after contact rank third among players with the same number of attempts.
The Browns need Chubb’s heroics even if Buffalo begins to pull away. Cleveland simply does not have an explosive passing game, and Jacoby Brissett must vastly overperform his numbers for it to be effective this week.
Brissett's 36.1 adjusted completion percentage – which measures the percent of passes thrown on target – ranks 30th among all quarterbacks. Exactly one-third of Cleveland’s touchdowns have come through the air (8-of-24), while Brissett’s thrown only a single TD of at least 20 yards. Pro Football Focus gives him a mere 23% chance to throw for over 300 yards against Buffalo.
When the Bills win, they win big. Their 11.0-point margin of victory is the highest in the NFL this season. That’s hardly a surprise as a ridiculous 23 of their 30 wins dating back to 2020 have been by double digits. Approximately 70% of the money may be on Cleveland to cover, but the sharps are backing Buffalo. I agree as a Bills’ win would likely be by double-digits.
Still, I’m only putting a taste on it as Buffalo’s faced a multitude of obstacles this week. An illness ravaged the clubhouse forcing them to alter practice on Wednesday. The winter storm also forced them to cancel practice Friday, limiting them to virtual meetings instead. They also had to scramble getting travel arrangements set for the last-minute switch to Detroit. It’s hard to ascertain how all that might impact their performance come kickoff.
Add it all up and my main focus is on Chubb eclipsing rushing 74.5 yards, which he’s done in seven of nine games this year. As noted earlier, he’s facing a struggling Bills run defense surrendering an average of 167.3 yards over their last three games. Running backs are averaging 5.5 yards after contact over that span, and Chubb’s one of the best in the league at breaking tackles.
Throw in that the Browns simply aren’t equipped to pass their way back into the game., and I feel good about Cleveland sticking with the run game no matter what. They abandoned it a week ago when Miami pulled away, and that should be a valuable lesson learned based on how that played out.