DeShone Kizer earned his first taste of NFL action last week, and it was bitter. Things don’t get any easier for the rookie quarterback this Sunday, as he leads the Cleveland Browns into Baltimore for a date with a vaunted Ravens defense. Kizer was sacked seven times by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 and could find himself scrambling for his life yet again as the Ravens come in fresh off a five-sack, four-INT shutout performance vs. Cincinnati.
Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens
Point Spread: Ravens -8 Date: Sunday, September 17, 1 p.m. Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
Point Spread and Betting Analysis
It’s no surprise to see the Ravens giving up more than a touchdown given the way both teams performed last week – but it’s worth noting that these teams have been engaged in some tightly-contested games in recent years. Five of their previous seven meetings have been decided by six points or fewer, though the Ravens did rout the Browns 28-7 in their most recent encounter in November of last season.
That said, Sports Interaction bettors have spoken – and they’re saying they love Baltimore (73 percent) and under 40 (77 percent). The latter trend makes sense, as well: Andy Dalton and the Bengals didn’t really threaten to reach the end zone in Week 1, while the Browns managed to hold one of the top offensive attacks in football to 21 points – thanks largely to a virtuoso defensive performance against one of the league’s top rushers in Le’Veon Bell.
Little was expected of a Browns defense that stunningly jettisoned DB Joe Haden just before the start of the season and is still waiting for DL Myles Garrett to return from a high-ankle sprain. But this team can still stuff the run – and it did so with emphasis last week, limiting Pittsburgh to just 35 rushing yards on 17 carries. Unfortunately, the Cleveland running game wasn’t much better – it managed a scant 57 yards on 25 attempts.
Kizer fans might want to gloss over this little tidbit: Per ESPN, the Ravens have won all five home games with John Harbaugh at the helm. Even more significantly, Baltimore has allowed just two passing touchdowns while snagging seven interceptions in that span. QB Joe Flacco was alarmingly conservative last week – throwing just 17 passes all afternoon – but will likely need to air it out more this week with Cleveland boasting a terrific run defense.
Browns vs. Ravens Prediction
Ravens 24, Browns 10