NFL odds handicappers will have the choice of a beaten favorite and top contender going up against a coach that is likely on the hot seat as Baltimore hosts Cleveland.
Kickoff for this AFC North Division matchup is set for 1:05 PM Eastern and the game will be broadcast on CBS. Sbg global.com opened with the Baltimore Ravens as a 10.5-point home favorite and with an over/under of 37.5.
Mangini Under Fire
The Cleveland Browns have stumbled out of the gate with a record of 0-2 both straight up and against the spread which is just what head coach Eric Mangini was looking to avoid. Mangini was nearly fired last year but saved his job by leading the Browns to 4 consecutive wins and payouts to end the 2009 season. Cleveland had played well in preseason which sparked hope for improvement but once the games started to count the Browns have gone back into the tank. Mangini was never a popular choice to lead the Browns in the first place and the bad start has fans up in arms and the team facing a crisis of confidence.
To make matters worse Cleveland’s NFL betting losses were to a couple of big time losers from last year. On opening day the Browns lost at Tampa Bay 17-14 as 2.5-point road dogs and then last week they lost their home opener to Kansas City 16-14 as 3-point favorites. Both games went under the total. Losses with the NFL odds to such lightweights only adds to a lack of confidence with handicappers especially for this matchup against a Baltimore team favored to win the AFC title in 2010.
Ravens Stumbling on Offense
Baltimore lost a tough 15-10 decision at Cincinnati last week to fall to 1-1 both straight up and against the spread. The Ravens defense has always been among the best in NFL betting but their offense continues to struggle as they rank 30th in the NFL for points scored. Quarterback Joe Flacco has really struggled with a 48% completion rate and a 1/5 touchdown to interception ratio. Ray Rice has done little better out of the backfield with a 3.5 yards per carry average.
Baltimore has beaten the NFL odds in 4 consecutive games against the Browns and outscored Cleveland 50-3 in their two meetings last year.