The Baltimore Ravens have turned their season around with wins in five of their last six. What’s even better is their hot streak has coincided with a Pittsburgh Steelers slump. With the Steelers dropping four of five, that means that the Ravens can win the AFC North if they can take care of business in Week 17. The challenge is that they’ll be up against a Cleveland Browns team that has also won five of six, so this matchup won’t be easy.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
This series has been tilted in the Ravens favor as they’ve won 16 of the last 19 meetings. The Browns have dropped 13 of their last 15 visits to Baltimore. That home-field advantage could be a big difference in this contest as the Browns are 5-2-1 at home this year but just 2-5 on the road. As for the Ravens, they are 5-2 at home compared to 4-4 away. They are now 5-1 straight up and 4-2 ATS with Lamar Jackson as their starter.
The Browns are on fire right now as they have won five of six and they’re playing well on both sides of the ball. While this might look like a nothing game for them, you’d be wrong to think so. This team has finished below .500 every year since 2007. A win here could bring them to 8-7-1, which would be viewed as a big success.
Gregg Williams has reinvigorated the defence, which is holding opponents to just 19.8 points per game over their last six. On offence, Baker Mayfield has been electric as he has 13 touchdown passes and just five interceptions since the start of November.
Nobody has been able to stop the Ravens running game so far but Williams is a defensive guru. And more importantly, the Browns have the parts here to give him problems. If they can force Jackson to be a pocket passer in this game, they just might have a shot at pulling this out.
These are the Browns of old. In previous years, a Week 17 matchup with Cleveland would be a freebie but the Ravens will have to work for this. The good news for Baltimore is that Cleveland hasn’t really played anyone with a winning record of late. Beating up on the likes of Cincinnati (twice), Denver, Carolina and Atlanta is good for Cleveland but none of those teams have a winning record. The only opponent Cleveland faced with a winning record in that stretch was Houston and the Browns were smoked 29-13.
The big issue for Cleveland here is that their run defence has been an issue all season. They’re allowing 126.1 rushing yards per game, which ranks them 24th in the NFL. That figures to be an issue against Lamar Jackson, Gus ‘The Bus’ Edwards and a Ravens ground game that leads the league in rushing yards per game since Jackson took over.