I’ve never been a Joe Flacco fan. He’s a middle-of-the-pack quarterback. Baltimore’s once-feared defense isn’t intimidating these days either minus Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs.
So I’ll get behind Cleveland taking 6 1/2 points at Baltimore.
The Browns are feisty, have a solid offensive line and good secondary. Their skill position players are improving. Travis Benjamin will be the most dangerous player on the field. He has five all-purpose touchdowns.
The Ravens are lucky to be 1-3 having taken advantage of Pittsburgh’s multiple missed field goals to win in overtime during their last game. Baltimore will be without its best receiver, Steve Smith Sr., and could be minus offensive left tackle Eugene Monroe.
I like that the Browns are 6-0 against the spread (ATS) under coach Mike Pettine when getting five or more points.
UNDER PIck for Patriots vs Cowboys Matchup
Brandon Weeden and a total of 49 1/2 points usually aren’t seen together. But that’s the case for this Sunday’s game in Dallas. It’s not Weeden, of course, responsible for this high total. New England is in town.
The Patriots are averaging an NFL-best 39.7 points per game.
Nevertheless, I’m taking the under. It’s a large total and Dallas doesn’t have skill position talent minus Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett should slow the pace relying on a conservative game plan.
The Patriots’ offense might be a tad off since the team was idle last week. The Cowboys’ defense gets fortified with the return from suspension of their top pass rusher, Greg Hardy, plus their top run stuffer from a year ago, Rolando McClain.
OVER Pick for Jaguars vs Buccaneers Matchup
Jacksonville and Tampa Bay have shown under tendencies. The under has cashed in 11 of the Buccaneers’ last 14 games while the Jaguars have gone under during their previous five October games.
But 42 is a low total in these pass-happy days so I’m going to buck these trends and go over in the Jaguars-Buccaneers matchup.
Blake Bortles and Jameis Winston are young promising quarterbacks. Bortles is improved in his second season. Winston has a healthy Mike Evans.
Neither defense is worth fearing. The Jaguars lost linebacker Paul Posluszny this past week. Posluszny is fourth in the NFL in tackles.