Patriots vs Browns Odds & Picks | NFL Week 6
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Bailey Zappe.
- Bailey Zappe's second NFL start comes against the Browns today.
- Cleveland is a home favorite against New England.
- John LanFranca breaks down the game and lays out how he's betting it below.
Patriots vs. Browns Odds
|Moneyline||+130 / -154|
|Odds via FanDuel.|
This AFC clash between two potential Wild Card teams is much more intriguing than one may think. When it came to handicapping a side in this contest, there’s optimism for both teams.
Since 2016, teams that have lost back-to-back games and are then short home favorites (pick to -2.5) have fared well and covered 63.6% of the time.
The Browns are rightfully favored in this contest. As for the Patriots, betting on Bill Belichick as an underdog has been an exercise of printing money for bettors. New England is a remarkable 26-13-2 (66.6%) against the spread as a road underdog under the greatest coach of this era.
To that end, I will avoid a side entirely and grab the value on the over in this matchup.
Patriots vs. Browns Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Patriots and Browns match up statistically:
Patriots vs. Browns DVOA Breakdown
The Browns' offense has been one of the biggest surprises of the NFL season thus far. Their running game is dominant no matter which metric you choose.
Cleveland's ball carriers are second-best in the league in yards per carry (5.36). Nick Chubb leads the NFL in rushing yards, yards after contact, explosive runs (10+ yards), rushing first downs and missed tackles forced (42).
Cleveland’s offensive line has been equally as impressive, ranking sixth in adjusted line yards and first in the rate at which they get their backs to the second level of the defense. The big boys up front have also limited the pressure Jacoby Brissett has felt when this offense does air it out.
Brissett has only been sacked five times (tied for the fewest in the NFL) and the Browns adjusted sack rate is a minuscule 3.9%.
The only two offenses that consistently move the ball better than Cleveland have Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes leading their respective squads. While the Patriots' defense has played well, they've struggled against the run — specifically on early downs.
New England ranks 24th in DVOA on 1st down and 29th on 2nd down against opposing rushing attacks. This is especially concerning for a defense that would normally be apt to lean on lockdown corner Jonathan Jones and move an extra defender into the box to stop the run.
However, Jones suffered an ankle injury in Week 5 and is questionable to play Sunday after only practicing in a limited fashion throughout the week. Jones is the top graded cornerback in the NFL in single coverage this season, according to Pro Football Focus (91.5 grade). A bothersome ankle will undoubtedly be detrimental to Jones’ play against the precise route running of Amari Cooper.
For a defense that allows 4.8 yards per carry (23rd in the NFL), I do not like the Patriots’ chances of getting the Browns in long down and distance situations.
While the Browns offense has been humming in 2022, the defense has been a disappointment. Myles Garrett may not be 100% yet, and both Jadeveon Clowney and Denzel Ward will miss this game.
If this defense is going to have any chance of making the Patriots uncomfortable, it must stop the run, and there is not much evidence to predict they can make that happen. In fact, 31.7% of all rushing plays against the Browns this year have resulted in either a first down or six points for the offense, which ranks 29th in the NFL. (As an aside, it’s actually hard to believe there is a defense that is worse against the run than the Browns).
Cleveland is getting gashed to the tune of 5.94 yards per carry to running backs specifically and is 31st in EPA/play allowed when opposing offenses hand off the football. Expect a heavy dose of Rhamondre Stevenson, who is averaging 4.2 yards after contact per attempt, the seventh-best mark in the league.
I don't believe we will know the status of Mac Jones until about 90 minutes before kickoff Sunday, and I also don't believe it matters. The game plan will once again be simple and efficient for a Patriots' offense that helped Bailey Zappe average 9.0 yards per attempt in his first ever NFL start as a rookie.
Neither defense has the personnel to consistently force the other team into difficult down and distance situations. While there may be some long, sustained drives where the clock is constantly running, there will also surely be several explosive runs and play-action shot plays.
As long as we can avoid turnovers in the red zone, each individual drive stands to have a high chance of producing points. Expect a higher scoring game than the name value of these quarterbacks might indicate.
QuickSlip: Over 43 | Bet to 44