Browns vs. Cowboys Betting Guide: Odds & A Spread Pick For Sunday’s Game
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr.
- The Dallas Cowboys host the Cleveland Browns as 4-point home favorites on Sunday.
- But is the value really on Dak Prescott & Co., or can Baker Mayfield' squad cover this spread as underdogs?
- Our NFL betting analyst Raheem Palmer takes a closer look at the odds and matchup before making his pick.
Browns vs. Cowboys Odds
With a 2-1 record to start the season, the Cleveland Browns are finally above the .500 mark for the first time since since December 2014. While things are looking up for the Browns, the Dallas Cowboys (1-2) are tending in the wrong direction following three consecutive lackluster performances.
Despite the rough start, oddsmakers still have the Cowboys pegged as 4-point favorites against the Browns. But is that warranted, or is “America’s Team” getting too much love?
I think it’s time to fade Dallas.
Baker Mayfield hasn’t been great this season, but he hasn’t had to be. Cleveland’s rushing attack, featuring Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, has been fueling a Kevin Stefanski offense that’s averaging 5.2 yards per carry and 170 yards per game.
The Rams’ performance in the opening week against the Cowboys — when L.A. ran the ball 40 times for 153 yards (albeit more efficiently) and controlled the time of possession (35:38 minutes to 24:22 minutes) — could be a blueprint for the Browns to follow in this game.
Although we’re seeing a decrease in Mayfield’s statistics, his efficiency has increased as he’s effectively managing the offense. Mayfield ranks ninth in ESPN’s Total QBR after finishing 19th last season, and the Dallas defense is allowing the fifth-most passing yards per game (277), which means this could be a spot where Mayfield shows more with wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.
Defensively, Cleveland has a vaunted front seven that’s led by Myles Garrett. The standout, who had double-digit sacks last season, has amassed three sacks and two forced fumbles already this campaign. Adrian Clayborn has been ruled out with a hip injury, but Olivier Vernon, Sheldon Richardson, Larry Ogunjobi and Jordan Elliott will be tough on the banged up Cowboys line.
One of the biggest reasons sharps were bullish on the Cowboys coming into the season was due to the fact conventional wisdom says their 0-5 record in one-score games (featuring a point differential of minus-5) would regress to the mean.
Unlike 2018, when it went 8-3 and had a plus-6 point differential in games decided by seven or fewer points, Dallas appears to be repeating the 2019 season all over again. All three of the Cowboys’ games have been decided by seven or fewer points, with losses to the Rams and Seahawks. The lone Dallas win was a come-from-behind victory against the Falcons.
Dak Prescott has yet to land a long-term contract, but that hasn’t stopped him from leading the league in passing at 396 yards per game. Although some of that is a product of a leaky defense that’s forced Dallas to pass its way back into games, it can’t be discounted how explosive this Cowboys offense has been this season.
Offensive weapons Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and first-round pick CeeDee Lamb are familiar names, but Cedric Wilson — a 2018 sixth-round pick — has also emerged as an exciting threat for Dallas.
The Cowboys’ patchwork offensive line will face its toughest test in this game. Left tackle Tyron Smith is on track to play, but Dallas’ full projected starting offensive line has yet to play this season with La’el Collins on IR and multiple starters going down along the way.
Left guard Zack Martin moved to right tackle in the Seattle game, which marked the fifth offensive-line combination in three games. For a unit that’s lacked continuity, the Browns’ defensive line could be a nightmare.
The defense is a disaster to say the least. Through the first three weeks, Dallas has given up 1,214 yards and allowed 32.3 points per game. The Falcons and Vikings are the only teams who have given up more points.
According to Sharp Football Stats, the Cowboys are 31st in explosive pass plays, allowing 12% of them to gain 20-plus yards. The decision to not pay Byron Smith Jones hasn’t paid off, as the Cowboys are 24th in Football Outsiders’ pass defensive DVOA. The loss of Chidobe Awuzie to a hamstring injury hasn’t helped, either.
With this defense, the Cowboys’ success is dependent on whether the offense can score 30-plus points every week.
The Cowboys are a miracle, onside-kick away from being 0-3, yet they’re still laying points to the Browns. If there’s one thing we’ve seen from Dallas this season, its defense will put it behind the eight ball on many occasions.
The Cowboys’ offense will give it a chance to win every game, but given the Browns’ talent on the defensive line, ability to run the ball and having offensive weapons like Beckham and Landry, this road dog is live and could bark louder than you think.
My model makes this game closer to 3 points rather than 4. I would sprinkle a small percentage of your wager on the ML as well.
Pick: Browns +4