Browns vs Ravens Picks, Predictions: NFL Week 7 Preview
Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson.
- The Browns are road underdogs in a divisional matchup against the Ravens.
- Cleveland has lost three straight and faces a difficult challenge in Lamar Jackson.
- Cody Goggin previews the matchup and lays out his betting pick below.
Browns vs. Ravens Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Cleveland is coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Patriots while the Ravens were upset against the Giants. Despite their record, the Browns have actually played much better than it would seem this season.
The Browns have been a below average defense this year, both against the run and the pass. For a team like the Ravens who value their running game, this may end up presenting a problem for Cleveland, just as it did last week against New England.
Here are my Browns vs Ravens picks and predictions, as well as my best bet in our NFL Week 7 betting preview.
Browns vs. Ravens Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Browns and Ravens match up statistically:
Browns vs. Ravens DVOA Breakdown
The Achilles’ heel for the Browns this season has been allowing the big play. They rank 31st in EPA per play allowed but 17th in defensive success rate. This pattern has carried over into both facets.
Cleveland ranks 20th in rushing success rate on defense but 32nd in EPA per play. They are allowing 0.162 EPA per play, which would rank as the 7th best quarterback in the league this year between Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson. The Browns are ranked 32nd by Pro Football Focus in run defense grade with a 38.0 grade.
Cleveland also ranks 24th in passing success rate against but 13th in dropback success rate.
The Browns defense will be without cornerback Denzel Ward against and Jadaveon Clowney is currently listed as questionable but they are optimistic that he will be able to play. This should help the run defense on this side of the line immensely but just adding Clowney back won’t dramatically improve the entire defense.
Baltimore’s offense presents a major mismatch as they have the second best rushing offense in the league in terms of EPA per play. They have been explosive as they rank 7th in rushing success rate. Lamar Jackson leads all quarterbacks and is tied for 3rd overall in rushes of 15 yards or more with seven. This explosive rushing attack will be hard for Cleveland to counter.
John Harbaugh’s offense hasn’t been as run heavy this season as it had been in past years’. However, the Ravens still rank 10th in the league in rushing play percentage at 44.99% of their plays. They have been effective on those attempts, ranking 6th in rushing yards per game with 155.7.
The Ravens rank 6th in the league in PFF run blocking grade. One thing to monitor would be the health of this offensive line. Ronnie Stanley and Ben Cleveland were both listed as questionable with illnesses at the time of this writing. If they are both unable to go, that dramatically changes how I would feel about this prop.
Perhaps the most impactful injury right now for this bet is JK Dobbins. Dobbins has already been ruled about and will be sidelined for a few weeks. Without Dobbins in the backfield, the Ravens rushing attack will likely rely on Lamar to take a higher share of the rushing attempts.
Currently Lamar Jackson’s rushing yardage total is set at 56.5 yards. Lamar has gone over this total in each of his last five games, averaging 86.8 per game.
In the first matchup between these two teams last season, Jackson had 17 rush attempts. He was injured early in the second meeting between these two teams with only two attempts at that time.
If the Baltimore offensive line is at full strength then they should be able to have a successful day running the ball against a Browns defense that is very susceptible to allowing big plays. With the Dobbins injury, there currently aren’t any other Ravens that have rushing props available, but I would like those as well.
The Ravens are currently 6.5-point favorites in this game, which may lend itself to a positive game script that leans even more towards the run for the Ravens. Lamar should be able to get over 56.5 rushing yards with relative ease and could even hit the over in just one long play.