Both the Browns and Ravens squeaked out wins in Week 11. Baltimore found itself without its starting quarterback, had to change its game plan at the last minute, and still found a way to win. Cleveland, meanwhile, got a huge boost from the return of their star running back and had a near-full-strength roster. Still, the Browns managed to get shut out by the Lions in the second half of Sunday’s game. In a tight AFC North race, how will this Browns vs. Ravens game shake out, what are the NFL odds, and what is our pick and prediction?
Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens pick, prediction, opening betting lines | Week 12
- Spread: Ravens -4.5 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Ravens -210, Browns +175
- Over/Under: 46.5
Lamar Jackson to return?
The Ravens found themselves without Lamar Jackson as Sunday approached, thanks to a non-COVID-related illness.
Tyler Huntley stepped in and helped the team to scrape by the Chicago Bears by the skin of their teeth.
All being well, Jackson should return for Sunday’s game against the Browns, and the current odds appear to be based on that being the case. Marquise Brown was also out on Sunday with a thigh injury, but there’s no news on his return as of yet.
Even with Jackson coming back, this is a tough game for the Ravens’ offense. The Browns are typically a good, sturdy defense. That being said, there are certain weeks where that defense just doesn’t show up for Cleveland, such as the hideous loss to the Patriots in Week 10 and the tough outing against the Cardinals in Week 6.
The Browns’ defense is saving their offense
However, it’s their defense that’s winning football games right now. Cleveland has failed to score more than 17 points in six of its last eight games. That’s a pretty poor record, and when they’re winning (barring the Bengals game), it’s by scores of 13-10 (Lions, Week 11), 17-14 (Broncos, Week 7), and 14-7 (Vikings, Week 4).
If the Browns can’t hold Lamar Jackson and Co. to fewer than 21 points, Cleveland’s offense might not be able to climb out of a hole. There’s every chance Jackson gets hot and puts 30+ points on the board.
Baker Mayfield has had two bad weeks in a row. He threw for only 73 yards against the Patriots in Week 10 and 176 yards against the Lions in Week 11. Something isn’t working for the Browns right now. The loss of right tackle Jack Conklin certainly won’t help, and they’ve been without their RB group at full health for multiple weeks.
Cleveland needs to get back on the straight and narrow in a hurry if they want to hit form and make the playoffs. Nonetheless, Baltimore’s defense is not what you want to be facing. The Ravens have held both the Chargers and the Broncos to 7 points or less so far this season. But they’ve struggled in other weeks, giving up 41 to the Bengals and 31 to the Vikings.
Browns vs. Ravens betting trends
The Browns are 5-6 against the spread (ATS) and 6-5 hitting the over. In games in which they’ve been the underdog, they are 1-2 ATS.
The Ravens are 4-6 ATS and 5-5 hitting overs. However, their form has slowed in recent weeks, and they’re 1-3 ATS in their last four. Those underwhelming results concern me, as they include losses to the Dolphins and the Bengals and a close overtime victory against the Vikings.
Browns vs. Ravens prediction
Given the recent results from both teams, this is one of the tougher games to make a call on in Week 12. This is one of those contests where you back the under and it ends up being 42-41, or you back the over and it finishes 13-10. Either way, I’m choosing to avoid the O/U.
I’ll take the Ravens to win the game, anticipating that we see Baltimore’s offense click. Despite the return of Nick Chubb, I can’t see the Browns keeping up. The Ravens win it and cover.
Browns vs. Ravens Prediction: Ravens 34, Browns 17