Cleveland Browns vs. Washington Commanders January 1 Betting Preview

Cleveland Browns vs. Washington Commanders January 1 Betting Preview

Barry Devoe
1 month ago
2 min read
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb runs with the ball during game against the New Orleans Saints

The Cleveland Browns (6-9) travel to Landover, Maryland, to take on the Washington Commanders (7-7-1). Both teams are fighting to stay out of last place in the division, but one team is trying to drum up a playoff berth while the other is debating whether to bench star players for the rest of the season. 

Browns To Play As Underdogs (+110)

In what may be a surprise to some, the Browns are not favored to win this game despite the comparison of talent between both teams. 

The Browns are coming off a truly deflating loss to the New Orleans Saints last week, in which they were mathematically eliminated from any chance of a playoff berth. 

While Deshaun Watson passed the eye test on the field in most situations, the results just weren't there to back it up. 

He was the best player on the field for the offense but was let down by many drops and some debatable, if not aggressive playcalling by Kevin Stefanski. Nick Chubb finished close to 100 yards but it's become a point with him and the offensive line that some tweaks may need to be adjusted this offseason. The Browns now go from this disappointing lack of offense to hopeful in a road trip in what should be decent conditions. 

There’s pressure for Watson to break out, and it seems like the owner wants to get this offense some momentum to carry into next year. A game against the Commanders should be a good challenge, and the Browns underdog determination may lead to some extra juice for this team. 

The defense had looked better but is still far from what will be needed moving forward. Luckily for the Browns defense, Carson Wentz is slotted for the start at quarterback for the Commanders, and he is prone to throwing interceptions. Feasting on Wentz’s aggressiveness and desperation to keep the Commanders playoff hope alive could be a momentum builder to end the season. 

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Washington -2.5

It’s kind of inspiring to see the Commanders still fighting. In the first half of the season, this team looked like a unit ready to fold and roll over, but that has not been the case recently. 

Chase Young has returned to action, and Da’Ron Payne has rocketed his free agency value with the way he has played as of late. 

Taylor Heinecke was able to go 5-1 as a starter, but now the keys are turned over to Wentz. While it's unclear how this will affect the game plan, the Commanders are going to try and expose a bad Browns rushing defense that currently sits at the bottom of the league. 

Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson provide a threat to the Browns, and the hybrid receiver role of Curtis Samuel can embarrass some bad Browns tacklers. If I was Ron Rivera, I would do whatever I could to get the ball moving in the direction of John Johnson and the Browns practice squad caliber linebacker corps.

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