Our Favorite Rams vs. Browns Bets for Sunday Night Football
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Cooper Kupp
Rams at Browns Betting Odds
- Odds: Rams -3.5
- Total: 47.5
- Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: NBC
Odds above as of early Sunday and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can exclusively bet every NFL spread this season at reduced juice (-105).
The Browns are +3.5 at home in primetime.
But should Baker Mayfield and Co. really be underdogs in Cleveland?
Our analysts offer their favorite picks for the Sunday Night Football showdown, featuring two against-the-spread picks and a prop.
Scott T. Miller: Browns +3.5 or Better
Once this line moved to a flat 3.5, the Browns became a no-brainer play.
Cleveland is coming off an ugly primetime victory over the hapless Jets, who were forced to play their third-string QB for the majority of the game. That showing — and the Browns’ general sloppiness to start the season — is driving a massive overreaction in the market.
The Rams entered the season with a buy/sell grade of F according to Sean Koerner’s model, and I’ve seen little in their first two games to make me think that was wildly off base. They needed overtime to beat a Panthers team featuring an injured Cam Newton in Week 1, then got the benefit of facing Teddy Bridgewater instead of Drew Brees for the majority of their 27-9 home victory over the Saints.
This line is 1.5 points off per Koerner’s power ratings, which is extremely valuable considering this line has crossed 3.
I expect this Cleveland crowd, which hasn’t witnessed a Sunday Night Football game since 2008, to be well lubricated and make life difficult for Jared Goff, who struggled last season away from home (82.7 QB rating, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions).
DraftKings actually has +4 posted at the time of writing, and given the heavy public action on LA (78% of tickets), I wouldn’t be surprised to see more books make that move before kick as even more money floods the market.
Our Darren Rovell reported this morning that the Browns are one of sportsbooks’ biggest needs today, and I expect bookmakers to get their wish with a Cleveland cover.
Mike Randle: Browns +3.5
I’m aligned with Scott on this one.
After a disappointing 43-13 season-opening loss to Tennessee, the Browns host a primetime battle with a Rams offense that’s much less potent on the road.
Since 2018, there has been a significant difference in Goff’s road/home game averages. He averages 98.1 fewer passing yards, 1.34 fewer touchdown passes and a whopping 13.46 fewer fantasy points on the road.
The Los Angeles rushing offense is also less potent as a result of Todd Gurley’s chronic knee problems and the offseason departure of run-plowing guard Rodger Saffold and starting center John Sullivan. Current starting guard Austin Blythe (ankle) is also questionable.
The Browns match up well against L.A.’s passing attack as they rank eighth in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA. Hopefully they’ll have one or both of their core secondary pieces in Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward, who are both questionable.
The Browns will still certainly generate pressure, as they feature a defensive front that ranked second with eight sacks through two weeks.
Offensively, look for Cleveland to feature Nick Chubb against a Los Angeles defense that allowed 5.5 yards per carry on the road in Week 1 at Carolina.
The 3.5-point spread is too much against a Rams team with questionable offensive line play and shaky road quarterback efficiency. Cleveland should be led by its offensive playmakers — Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham and Chubb — and cover the spread in this primetime upset opportunity.
Randle: Todd Gurley Under 2.5 Receptions (+116)
This prop bet features the best odds on the Sunday Night Football slate.
Sean McVay has delivered on his promise of a reduced workload for Gurley, who has reduced his snap share from 88.8% (third-best) in 2018 to 69% (11th) through the first two games.
The biggest reduction in volume has been as a receiver, where Gurley’s targets per game have plummeted from 5.8 per game to five total targets through the first two games. On the season, Gurley has only four receptions for a total of eight receiving yards.
Gurley was also used much less as a pass-catcher on the road in 2018. He averaged 1.3 fewer receptions and 28.9 fewer receiving yards in the Rams’ eight road games.
Against a strong Cleveland front seven (eight sacks), it is unlikely that Gurley will exceed his per-game reception average. The +116 juice makes this prop even more enticing.