Browns vs Broncos Prediction, Odds | NFL Week 12 Betting Pick

Browns vs Broncos Prediction, Odds | NFL Week 12 Betting Pick article feature image

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Browns vs Broncos Odds, Prediction

Sunday, Nov. 26
4:05 p.m. ET
Browns Odds
-110o / -110u
Broncos Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

The latest Browns vs Broncos odds for NFL Week 12 have Denver installed as 1.5-point favorites on the spread with a game total over/under of 36. My NFL pick for this matchup is on the spread.

The Broncos have been riding high, winners of four straight after an abysmal start to the season. As for the Browns, they are on a three-game winning streak despite an unideal quarterback situation that has forced rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson into starting action.

There is an old adage in football that ‘defense travels.’ I am thrilled to be catching points with the Browns, who have the best defense in football. The Broncos simply do not deserve to be favored in this spot. I break it all down in my Cleveland-Denver betting preview below, which includes my Browns vs Broncos prediction against the spread.

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Browns vs Broncos Pick

Sunday, Nov 26
4:05 p.m. ET
Browns +1.5
Pick: Browns +1.5 (Bet to a pick'em)
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Browns vs. Broncos

Matchup Analysis

It’s rare to see a defense that ranks at the top of the league in both pass and rush defense DVOA. This is an even more impressive feat when you consider the Browns' defensive schedule ranking of opponents’ DVOA is three, meaning they have played one of the most difficult slate of offenses through 11 weeks.

Cleveland's front seven is absolutely dominant; the Browns surrender only 3.05 adjusted line yards per carry (YPC), which is by far the best in the NFL. The gap between the Browns and the No. 2 team in adjusted line yards is the same as the margin between the second-best and ninth-best defense in this area. 

It’s very difficult to move the sticks against the Browns. They have only allowed 45 first downs on rushes the entire season, the second-fewest league wide. The Broncos are going to play right into their strengths.

During their winning streak, Denver has implemented a conservative attack, led by running back Javonte Williams. Williams has not cracked 4.0 YPC in any of the last three weeks, and I do not see that improving in an even tougher matchup for the Broncos’ offensive line. 

Russell Wilson was called upon a week ago against the Vikings to lead the comeback, but that was against a Minnesota defense 26th in completion percentage over expectation allowed, with a 30% pressure rate. The Browns have a -5.9% completion rate over expectation against — the best in the league — and a 41% pressure rate.

Furthermore, a large percentage of the Broncos’ passing attack will be rendered ineffective, as no quarterback in football throws passes at a higher rate at or behind that line of scrimmage than does Wilson — 30% of all his attempts fit into this category. The Browns play with a single-high safety, rather than two-high safeties, at the highest rate league wide (74%).

The Broncos' rushing attack and short passing game will have to deal with an extra defender near the line of scrimmage more often in this game than in any other matchup they have been in.

Bet Cleveland vs. Denver at FanDuel

Browns +1.5

Broncos -1.5

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Dorian-Thompson Robinson has not been impressive through two starts. With that said, he will not have to do much to successfully execute the game plan against this vulnerable Broncos unit.

While the narrative around the Broncos defense is that they have simplified things and improved greatly, they still can't stop the run. Denver is allowing 3.5 explosive runs per game, most in the league. They have allowed a league-high 5.8 YPC to opposing runners; even during this winning streak, it has been evident they do not have the personnel to win the line of scrimmage.

In their last three games, Isiah Pacheco averaged 5.0 YPC, James Cook and Latavius Murray combined to average 8.4 YPC, and the inept Vikings ground attack featuring Ty Chandler and Alexander Mattison managed 5.5 YPC on 28 attempts.

Thompson-Robinson will have the benefit of play-action and short down-and-distance situations for the duration of the game.

Browns vs. Broncos

Betting Picks & Predictions

As a Bronco, Russell Wilson is 1-11-1 against the spread as a favorite. The last season in which Wilson’s teams had a winning record against the number as a favorite was 2015.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is 57.7% against the spread in his coaching career as an underdog, including 4-1 this season. Over the last three seasons, Cleveland is 13-8 ATS as a 'dog, covering 61.9% of the time.

I will happily fade Wilson against a truly elite defense.

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