Ravens vs. Browns Betting Picks, Predictions & Odds: Sell High on Baltimore?
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield
- Our experts preview the Week 16 NFL matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.
- They analyze whether the 10-point spread is too high for the traveling Ravens.
- You'll also find betting odds, a pick and Sean Koerner's power ratings below.
Ravens at Browns Betting Picks, Predictions & Odds
- Odds: Ravens -10
- Over/Under: 49
- Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
Odds as of Thursday evening and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Is now the time to sell high on the Baltimore Ravens?
The public sure doesn’t think so. More than 80% of tickets and money are pouring in on Lamar Jackson and Co. to cover the 10-point spread at the Cleveland Browns.
Our experts analyze every angle of the AFC North matchup to find the best betting value.
Ravens-Browns Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Ravens
The Ravens are incredibly healthy heading into the final stretch. Offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley (concussion) was the only starter on their practice report who didn’t sit out for injury reason. But he practiced in full, so he’s clearly trending towards playing.
Per usual, Odell Beckham Jr. (groin) and Jarvis Landry (hip) are practicing in a limited fashion, but neither have missed any games due to their respective injuries. Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (back), meanwhile, is a new addition to the Browns’ injury report. He grades out as one their best run defenders according to Pro Football Focus, so ideally he’d suit up for this divisional game. So far, they sound optimistic about his status. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Ravens Rush Offense vs. Browns Rush Defense
In Week 4, the Ravens suffered a 40-25 loss to the Browns. This week, they’ll look to get their revenge. As double-digit favorites, they seem likely to run at the Browns for much of the game.
In a league that’s increasingly shifted toward the passing game over the past decade, the Ravens have moved into the future by turning back the clock with an old-school focus on running the ball. They’re No. 1 with 512 running plays and a 55.4% rush rate. They’re also No. 1 with 5.5 yards per carry and a 55% rush success rate (per Sharp Football Stats).
They run more and more efficiently than any other team does.
That combination of volume and efficiency is incredibly rare for a running game.
With the two-headed backfield of record-setting MVP frontrunner Jackson and wingman running back Mark Ingram, the Ravens have the NFL’s best rushing duo. And supplemental backs Gus Edwards and Justice Hill are more than satisfactory.
As for the Browns, they’re No. 28 against the run in PFF’s run grade as well as Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. That’s clearly where they’re weakest.
And the Browns are without some key defenders in the run game. Defensive end Myles Garrett (suspension) is out the rest of the season. Defensive end Olivier Vernon (knee) has missed the past two games. Linebacker Christian Kirksey (chest, IR) and strong safety Morgan Burnett (Achilles, IR) are out. And slot corner Eric Murray (knee) hasn’t played since Week 8.
This defense is not anywhere close to full capability.
And it turns out the Ravens’ specific strength aligns with the Browns’ weakness. Baltimore’s offense is No. 6 in second-level yards gained per carry while Cleveland’s defense is No. 29 in second-level yards allowed: Once a runner gets past the line of scrimmage, Browns linebackers and safeties struggle to limit his yardage.
With this matchup, the Ravens could rush for 250 yards and multiple touchdowns. — Matthew Freedman
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Ravens -9
- Projected Total: 48
I’m close to this market, so this is a pass for me. — Sean Koerner
PRO System Match
Unders have been a smart play in division matchups as increased familiarity between teams creates a lower-scoring environment — unders have gone 838-741-29 (53.1%) since 2003.
It may seem obvious to some bettors, but it’s been more profitable to take the under in division games with high totals (more than 44 points) — it’s just easier for unders to cash when more points are expected to be scored.
Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 190-113-3 (62.7%) since 2003. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $6,755 following this strategy.
Sharp bettors are on the under, so act quick before the line decreases. — John Ewing
PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.
Stuckey: Browns +10
I’ll actually be at this game — I make the trip to Cleveland each year to see my Ravens. And while I’ll be rooting for them to win to lock up the AFC’s No. 1 seed, it doesn’t mean I won’t bet against them.
Money first. I have no problem separating fandom from my bets.
Bottom line: This line is just too high. I make it right around Baltimore -7.5, so the +10 is too enticing to pass. And not only is this a home dog, it’s a double-digit divisional dog, which is always enticing to me. Since 2003, double-digit dogs in division games are 124-96-6 (56.4%) against the spread for a juicy ROI of just under 9%.
This also fits my principle of selling high. The Ravens are at their peak in the market after blowing out another opponent last Thursday night.
And yes, there are plenty of reasons to love this particular matchup for the Ravens: The extra prep time. The better staff. Their ability to run the ball and to exploit the Browns’ pass defense over the middle of the field. The fact that their corners can match up with Cleveland’s wideouts and blitz more than any NFL team. And that they haven’t forgotten about the blowout loss to the Browns earlier this season — one of the Ravens’ only two defeats this season.
But at the end of the day, this comes down to value, and I think the Browns have it at 10 or higher. This is also Cleveland’s Super Bowl in what’s been a very disappointing year.
The Browns also aren’t completely dead in the playoff race. If they win out, they get in by winning the tiebreaker in a four-way tie at 8-8 with the Colts, Titans and Steelers for the final wild card spot.
That could happen if…
- In Week 16: Jets beat Steelers, Saints beat Titans, Colts beat Panthers
- And in Week 17: Ravens beat Steelers, Texans beat Titans, Colts beat Jaguars
I mean it’s unlikely, but not the craziest.
And don’t sleep on the fact that the Browns already saw this unique Ravens offense and the speed of Jackson.
Every week, we see the shock value of the Ravens offense, which propels them to big leads that opponents can’t overcome. But we saw how much the Chargers benefited from seeing the Ravens a second time in the postseason in 2018. And while Jackson is a much better quarterback and the defense is even better than last season, that first game should serve Cleveland well.
Nick Chubb could have a big day against a Ravens defense that has weak spots up the middle against the run. And look for Kareem Hunt out of the backfield to make things happen in the passing game when Mayfield has to get the ball out quick against the heavy-blitzing Ravens.
The Ravens also have to have a stinker eventually, right? If so, I hope it’s this week and not in the playoffs.
As always, play numbers, not teams. Go Ravens … by 3.
Stuckey is 312-251-8 (55.4%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.