Ravens Browns Betting – Ravens Can Clinch AFC North Within Division
With two games left to play, the Baltimore Ravens find themselves in position to lock up at a spot in the 2011 postseason within the division, with their remaining opponents both residences of the AFC North. The Ravens will end their season at home against the Cincinnati Bengals in two weeks, seven days after a trip to Ohio’s other football home, where they’ll play the Cleveland Browns.
NFL Betting: Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
Online Sports Betting Odds: Baltimore – 3.5
The Browns have dropped consecutive games to two of the worst in the AFC after putting together back-to-back wins. Cleveland has just five wins this season, but has registered notable victories over the reigning Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints and NFL-leading New England Patriots.
Why To Bet On The Ravens?
Baltimore can at the very least clinch one of the two AFC Wild Card spots if they can sweep the Browns and Bengals, and there remains an outside chance that they can best Pittsburgh for the division. The Steelers get the Carolina Panthers at home before finishing at Cleveland, so it is unlikely that they will lose another game. Still, with the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers two games back, a win this week will ensure the Ravens play in to the second week of the New Year. While they are still known for their defense first, Baltimore has found its scoring touch having registered at least 20 points in consecutive wins over the Houston Texans and Saints. Quarterback Joe Flacco continues to develop in to one of the premier pocket passers in the AFC, while the tandem of Ray Rice and Willis McGahee have averaged 3.9 yards with nine touchdowns combined. Flacco threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns against the Browns earlier in the year.
Why To Bet On The Browns?
Cleveland will have a tough time slowing down the Ravens’ juggernaut offense, but did manage to keep it close in the first meeting of the season, when they fell 24-17 at M&T Bank Stadium. The Browns actually led that game in the fourth quarter, mainly because of the play of running back Peyton Hillis, who registered 180 combined yards, including a career-high 144 on the ground. Cleveland’s defense has been good, but the offense has lost its rhythm in the past couple of NFL betting online weeks, likely due to the fact that they had to play three straight games on the road. However, the Browns are playing .500 football at home, and if the Ravens don’t play with urgency Cleveland could take advantage.
How The Game Will Play Out?
The Ravens will have two chances to clinch a spot in the 2011 playoffs, but head coach Jon Harbaugh will have his team playing with urgency in order to keep their chances of clinching a first round bye alive. The Browns kept it close the first time around, but will have difficulty doing so again after returning home from a long road trip.
NFL Betting Pick: Ravens