Betting expert @SBJohn12 previews this week’s NFL MNF matchup and gives out his favorite bets!
Week 14 concludes with the Cleveland Browns taking on the football team formerly known as the Cleveland Browns, as the Ravens try to keep their playoff hopes alive. Cleveland has been red-hot under new HC Kevin Stefanski, winning four in a row and finding themselves just 1.5 games back of Pittsburgh with four to play, including a home finale against the Steelers, which could well be the AFC North title game. Baltimore has gotten rocked by COVID the last month, and while the NFL tried its best to protect them (and not the Broncos) the past few weeks, it can only go so far. Baltimore has lost 4 of 6 and has been reeling as teams have beaten up on them with and without the reigning MVP Lamar Jackson.
Baltimore simply hasn’t been the same dominant force this year, partially because of COVID, and partially because Lamar just hasn’t been as effective as he was last year. They’ve had a tough schedule, but losses to New England and getting swept by Pittsburgh is what’s finding them on the outside looking in of the playoff race. Their offense isn’t near as dynamic this season either, coming in at 18th in the league in YPP. But the biggest difference has been in the red zone, where Baltimore was the best team in the league in 2019 and has fallen all the way down to 25th(!!) this year. The Ravens have three winnable games after tonight, with the Jags, Giants, and Bengals to close out the year. If they can pull one out tonight and complete the sweep over Cleveland, this could be just what they need to jumpstart an end-of-year playoff push.
The Browns have an outside shot at their first division title since 1989, but if they’re going to do so, they have to take advantage of Pittsburgh’s loss to Buffalo. The media was just a year too early on the Browns (also Kitchens was hilaribad), and Stefanski has done wonders for this franchise, in the sense that he at least appears competent. He’s going to have to be on point tonight against a Baltimore defense that has been great all year long, coming in at 6th in YPP. Baltimore could be without Calais Campbell and Jimmy Smith as both are questionable, yet another golden opportunity for Cleveland. Lots of things are lining up for the Browns right now, and after tonight, they get to close out the season against the Giants, Jets and Steelers. They appear to be a virtual lock for the playoffs, but their first AFC North title is also very much in play.
Really tough split on Thursday night as we waffled back and forth between Newton under 180.5 passing yards or longest completion 30.5 yards. Naturally, 180.5 was never threatened, and we lost longest completion by the hook. The fuckin’ way she goes. I think Cleveland gets it done tonight. Nothing has ever gone wrong by trusting the Browns in a big spot, that’s for sure. Cleveland has won a ton of close games, which you could definitely chalk up as pretty fluky, but I think they come through tonight. Baltimore has been a bit of a disappointment thus far, and this very well could be where they turn the corner, I’m just really liking Cleveland in this spot.
Monday Night Football Bets
Cleveland ML +150
Season Total: 29-29-2, -.42x