Ravens Browns Betting – Ravens Look To Capitalize With Visit To Cleveland
The Baltimore Ravens are tied for first place in the AFC North, even though they have already beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers’ team that they are tied with twice. The fact that the Ravens have experienced success against some of the top opponents that they have faced isn’t lost on the rest of the league, but in order for them to make that success count they will need to find a way to beat some of the lesser teams in the NFL, including the Cleveland Browns this Sunday. Baltimore’s three losses have come against opponents with a combined 13-21 record, a sports betting trend they will need to break out of against the 4-7 Browns.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
Sunday December 4, 2011 – 4:15 PM ET
Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
NFL Betting Lines: Baltimore Ravens – 6.5
Cleveland has managed to win the games they have been expected to win this season, and while this may not be one of them, they could keep it close if they play the way they did in a 23-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend, a game that they actually led until late before eventually falling short.
Ravens Browns Betting Preview: Baltimore Ravens
All three of the Raven’s losses this season have come on the heels of big wins over AFC contenders, so at least this game won’t fall under the same category following a 16-6 win over the NFC’s San Francisco 49ers. Baltimore has been its own worst enemy with losses at the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks, and now they must use those defeats as motivation not to have their perfect record within the division compromised. Despite running back Ray Rice and a powerful rushing attack, the Ravens continue to rely on the arm of Joe Flacco to pace the offense, and while it has been brutal at times he is definitely progressing in the right direction. Baltimore’s defense could once again be without leader Ray Lewis, but that hasn’t hurt them so far.
Ravens Browns Betting Preview: Cleveland Browns
While the Ravens’ defense is once again one of the best in the league, the Browns won’t boast about the fact that they rank first against the pass, particularly because opponents have clearly preferred to run against their 29th ranked rush defense. Cleveland will not be able to stack the box to stop Rice as long as Flacco is going downfield, so unless they can tighten things up front they could be in for a long day. Quarterback Colt McCoy continues to make progress as an NFL starter but still has a long way to go, and it doesn’t make things any easier on him that the team’s rushing attack has been a mess, with Peyton Hillis a shadow of the player that was so dominant a year ago.
Ravens Browns Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
While the Ravens have been prone to letdowns following big games in the past, things are coming down to the wire in the AFC North, and there is no more room to make mistakes. Baltimore will attack this game with the same sense of urgency they had last week against the 49ers, and with an extra couple of days of rest following a Thanksgiving win they should be able to cover the sportsbooks spread.
Ravens Browns Betting Pick: Baltimore Ravens