Browns-Ravens Odds, NFL Picks, Predictions: How Our Expert Plans To Bet Sunday Night Football Week 12
Getty Images. Pictured: Browns QB Baker Mayfield and Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (left to right)
- Looking for the best way to bet Sunday Night Football? Based on the latest Browns vs. Ravens injury reports and odds, our expert doesn't see value in betting it prior to kickoff.
- Instead, he makes a case for live betting the in-game spread below.
|Time||8:20 p.m. ET|
We should get a good one on Sunday night when the Ravens host the Browns in M&T Bank Stadium. Cleveland (6-5) entered Week 12 in last place in the AFC North, but it only trails first-place Baltimore (7-3) by one loss.
Had the season ended after Week 11, the Ravens would have held the No. 2 overall seed in the AFC. Meanwhile, the Browns would have been on the outside looking in as the No. 11 seed, but only one-half game out of the final wild-card spot. As with most games the rest of the way between playoff contenders in the AFC, this result will have major postseason implications.
The Ravens lead the overall series with the Browns 33-11, which includes a current streak of three consecutive victories. Last year, Baltimore swept Cleveland — 38-6 at home to open the season and 47-42 on the road.
Since 2003, the Ravens hold a dominant 15-3 record in Charm City against the Browns with two losses coming in overtime. The lone regulation loss came in 2019 when Cleveland ran wild en route to a 40-25 victory.
Can Cleveland get the job done on Sunday night to avoid falling to .500 and two-and-a-half games back of first place in the division? Let’s take a closer look.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Browns vs. Ravens Injury Report
- WR Anthony Schwartz (concussion): Out
- RB Kareem Hunt (calf): Questionable
- WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin): Questionable
- T Jack Conklin (elbow): Questionable
- CB Troy Hill (neck): Questionable
- WR Miles Boykin (finger): Out
- T Cedric Ogbuehi (thigh): Out
- WR Marquise Brown (thigh): Questionable
- CB Anthony Averett (thigh): Questionable
- CB Tavon Young (knee): Questionable
- CB Jimmy Smith (neck): Questionable
- CB Chris Westry (thigh): Questionable
- DE Calais Campbell (concussion): Questionable
- NT Brandon Williams (thigh): Questionable
- TE Nick Boyle (knee): Questionable
- RT Patrick Mekari (ankle): Questionable
- FB Patrick Ricard (hip): Questionable
Browns vs. Ravens Matchup
|Browns Offense||DVOA Rank||Ravens Defense|
|Browns Defense||DVOA Rank||Ravens Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Browns Must Increase Production
After jumping out to a 3-1 start, with the lone loss coming in a coin flip on the road at Kansas City, the Browns have gone 3-4. Outside of a dominant win over the Bengals, they haven’t looked great with the other two wins coming by a field goal at home over the Broncos and Lions — although weather was a factor.
What has happened to a team many thought would be a legitimate contender in the AFC? I see two primary reasons for some of the struggles:
- Injuries on offense.
- Declining production on defense.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield has not looked healthy as he tries to recover from a shoulder injury. Cleveland has also dealt with injuries along the offensive line and Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb.
Fortunately, Chubb returned last week, rushing for 130 yards on 22 carries (5.9 per carry) last Sunday. Additionally, Cleveland designated both Kareem Hunt and right tackle Jack Conklin to return from injured reserve this week. It looks as if both will suit up for this divisional showdown. Everything in Kevin Stefanski’s offense starts with the ground game, so getting these pieces back should pay immediate dividends.
However, questions still linger about the passing attack. There’s no way to really know right now whether Mayfield is 100%. It also doesn’t help that the wide receiver room has also dealt with a number of bumps and bruises. Jarvis Landry has had a few nagging injuries, as have Anthony Schwartz and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
With Schwartz unavailable, the status of People-Jones (questionable) becomes critical. He’s now the primary deep threat who can exploit a Baltimore defense that has struggled immensely against the deep ball.
In regards to the defense, the talent is certainly there after reloading in the offseason. However, the production has dipped since the Browns’ hot start. Since Week 5, Cleveland’s defense ranks 31st in EPA per play.
The run defense– an overwhelming strength early in the season — has also deteriorated in recent weeks. Look no further than the past two games against New England and Detroit, who combined to rush for over 350 yards at over six yards per carry.
I still believe defensive coordinator Joe Woods will turn this unit around with all of the talent in the secondary and an elite pass rush led by Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. But something is off right now.
How Good Are The Ravens Actually?
Yes, the Ravens sit at 7-3 atop the AFC North, but that record is a bit misleading.
Baltimore has been quite fortunate this season with a number of come-from-behind wins. In fact, it’s the third team since 1985 to record five fourth-quarter comebacks in its first 10 games, joining the 2009 Colts and 2016 Lions.
Baltimore also boasts a 5-1 record in one-possession games and a 2-1 mark in overtime. Meanwhile, the Browns have gone 3-3 in one-score games. That’s essentially the difference between the two squads.
You can’t talk about the 2021 Ravens without mentioning injuries. They have more players on IR than any team in the league, six of whom were projected starters.
The offense had to adjust to a decimated running back room and the loss of All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley, but it has done a nice job overall in large part due to the heroics of Lamar Jackson. The Ravens rank fourth in success rate and have been slightly above average overall when adjusted for opponent (14th DVOA).
In contrast, the story on the defensive side of the ball has not been as rosy. The secondary has taken a number of hits, starting with cornerback Marcus Peters in the preseason and most recently starting safety DeShon Elliott.
Baltimore’s defense does rank third in success rate, but it has allowed way too many explosive plays, ranking in the bottom three of the league in both explosive pass and run defense. Consequently, it only ranks 20th in EPA per play. When adjusting for opponent, the Ravens rank 27th overall in defensive DVOA, although they’ve been a bit better against the run (sixth) than the pass (27th).
The secondary could be in an even more dire situation on Sunday with four cornerbacks listed as questionable, in addition to rookie safety Ar’Darius Washington, who even had to take a few snaps in the slot last week due to the mounting injuries. Outside of star cornerback Marlon Humphrey, the defensive backfield is in rough shape to put it kindly.
Both Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell listed as questionable on the defensive line. Without those two, Cleveland’s elite offensive line should generate a significant push at the point of attack.
How have the Ravens been able to overcome all of the injuries and early deficits? Well, they remain one of the league’s best coached teams and have above-average depth as usual.
Additionally, they remain elite on special teams, ranking second overall in DVOA. It always helps to have the greatest kicker in NFL history in Justin Tucker. Baltimore will once again hold an edge in that department on Sunday night against a Cleveland special teams unit that grades out at about league average.
NFL Pick: Browns vs. Ravens
This line looks about right to me, especially with all of the injury uncertainty for both teams. If I knew Mayfield was 100% healthy and Peoples-Jones was a full go, I think the look would be the over, especially if some of these Baltimore cornerbacks are inactive.
Both offenses come into this game a bit undervalued in my opinion. The Browns are getting healthier on the offensive line and in the backfield. Plus, they have played a couple of games that had weather deflate their output. On the other side, I believe the Ravens offense will continue to improve as the season progresses after adjusting to their own injuries along the offensive line and at running back, while getting healthier at wide receiver.
The Ravens have averaged 33.4 points per game in Jackson’s five career starts against the Browns. They’ve scored at least 25 in all five contests.
I also believe the Ravens might be worth a look in the live betting market if they get off to another slow start. For whatever reason, it takes their offense a bit to get going. Baltimore has been shut out in the first quarter in five of its past eight games. However, it has generally made up for those lackluster starts late in games, outscoring opponents by 15 (94-79) in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the Browns have been outscored by 37 points (89-52) in the final frame.
Adjusting for all of the injury uncertainty, I don’t see any pre-game value from a spread or total perspective. However, that could change based on injury news we receive closer to kickoff. And as I mentioned above, I’ll have my eyes on the Ravens live (or 2H) if they get down early. Keep an eye on the Action Network App to see if I add anything.
Pick: Look to bet Ravens live
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