The Browns played one of their best all around games of the season on Sunday, downing the visiting Miami Dolphins 41- 24, and now find themselves in the “in the hunt” portion of the playoff seeding. Cleveland entered the game as a rare (for Cleveland) double digit home favorite of 10.5 points with the Over / Under set at 44.5. The total was never really in question as the Browns had no trouble moving the ball on Miami and when they got to the red zone they were able to punch it in for six rather then having to settle for field goals.
Baker Mayfield had one of his best performances as a pro, throwing for 327 yards and three scores. Mayfield, who struggled of the gates this year, is now 5th in total QBR over the last five weeks and it couldn’t have come soon enough. The offense has looked great and the addition of Kareem Hunt has gone surprising well as he has seamlessly flowed into the offense while adding a huge spark.
Nick Chubb went over 100 yards rushing again to go along with a score and is now +250 to win the rushing title. The win now has Cleveland in decent playoff position, something that was almost unthinkable a few weeks ago. The Cleveland Browns playoff futures have them as +225 to make the playoffs and -278 to miss them. With a pretty soft remaining schedule the Browns are in good position to make some noise.
The Rematch of the Season: the Cleveland Browns Odds for Week 13 Against the Steelers
This Sunday, the Browns head to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh to take on the rival Pittsburgh Steelers for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff. Originally a 4:00 start, due the events of the last meeting between these two teams, the NFL decided the less eyes on this game the better, so it is now slated for a 1:00 kick. Probably a good idea for the players and especially the fans in and around a Heinz Field that I expect to be teeming with angry Steelers fans.
The Browns head into this game as 2.5 point favorites and this marks the first time since 1989 that a Browns team will head into Pittsburgh as a favorite. That’s right! The first time since 1989, and its certainly justified in this spot. Pittsburgh will turn to Devlin Hodges at quarterback on Sunday, replacing Mason Rudolph, and I expect that to a big upgrade for the Steelers.
When asked about his expectations of Hodges head coach Mike Tomlin said “I’m not going to talk about expectations. I expect him not to kill us.” Now I have heard more encouraging words from a head coach toward a quarterback but its more of dig on Rudolph than it is Hodges who I expect to easily outperform Rudolph from here on out.
Cleveland is coming off its best offensive performance of the season but that was against an incredibly depleted Dolphins secondary, this won’t be so easy against a HIGHLY motivated Steelers team whose defense has been good all year. The Over / Under on the game is set at 40 down from 40.5 to open. Points will certainly be at a premium in this one which may turn out to be a slugfest quite literally. The lack of discipline on this Browns team concerns me and I can see it causing them the game in a close one.