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NFL Betting: Browns Have To Be Alarmed By Poor Level Of Quarterback Play

Posted by Stan Simmons on 9/12/2013 7:46:21 PM

The Cleveland Browns thought they were getting a special quarterback when they drafted Brandon Weeden. It looks increasingly likely that they whiffed with this draft selection.

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens – Sunday, September 15

Betting line: Ravens -7

Why Cleveland Will Win

This is a game in which the underdog’s chances of winning are centrally connected to the facet that the favorite has a lot of injured or otherwise unavailable players, especially on offense. When people who frequently try their hand at online betting are confronted by the reality of a new NFL season, they have to account for injuries and player transactions that reshuffle the deck of cards on a roster and – by extension – throughout the league. The Baltimore Ravens might be the defending Super Bowl champions, but they certainly don’t look the part. They certainly did not belong on the same field as the Denver Broncos in the second half of the NFL season opener on Sept. 5. The Ravens, having already lost receiver Anquan Boldin (to the San Francisco 49ers) and tight end Dennis Pitta (to injury), watched receiver Jacoby Jones get knocked out of the Denver game in the first half. Jones had been making a difference on the edges, helping the Ravens to outflank Denver’s defense and remain entirely competitive with the Broncos. However, after Jones’ injury, one could see that Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco simply didn’t have the diversity of options he needed in order to dissect Denver’s secondary. The Ravens will enter this game against Cleveland shorthanded, and sport betting experts know that even the best teams – those with sterling reputations or substantial recent accomplishments (or both) – won’t amount to much if they can’t field the best players. Cleveland is taking on Baltimore at a time when the Ravens are depleted. This doesn’t even mention the fact that Ed Reed is with the Houston Texans and Ray Lewis is in retirement. Baltimore is having to make so many adjustments on defense that the Ravens are likely to be more disorganized in the first half of the season. They might figure things out later, but they’re going to stand on shaky ground sooner. This plays into Cleveland’s hands.

Why Baltimore Will Win

When people in the online sports betting legal community try to assess this game, they’re going to look to one very simple reason for a Baltimore victory: Brandon Weeden. Cleveland’s quarterback situation continues to hold back the Browns franchise on a larger level. The ghost of Bernie Kosar looms large for this franchise, because it just hasn’t been able to find a trusted field general over most of the past 15 years. Weeden is almost 30 years old, which makes him an unusual second-year professional. Yet, his advanced age is not translating into sharper performances or wiser decisions. He was clueless in week one against Miami, and if he is this lost in his second season, the Browns simply have no hope of staying in the ring in Baltimore.

Who Will Win

For prospective bettors, this is a game that should not be overthought or overanalyzed. Weeden is horrible, and if he doesn’t manage to change the way he plays, Baltimore’s unsteady defense will look very competent against him.

NFL Betting Pick: Ravens -7


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