Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview, Odds, Predictions

Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview, Odds, Predictions

Cole Paganelli
3 years ago
3 min read
Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Preview, Odds, Predictions

With this year’s NFL preseason cut to just three weeks, teams around the league are entering their last tune-up game before the regular season officially starts. On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns (2-0) will square off with the Atlanta Falcons (0-2) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 8:00 pm ET.

The Browns come into this one undefeated in the preseason as they beat both the Jaguars (23-13) and the Giants (17-13). In last week’s victory over New York, Case Keenum threw for 74 yards and a touchdown while John Kelly rushed for 58 yards and a score.

For the Falcons, it has been a disappointing start to the preseason as they have dropped both of their games to the Titans (23-3) and the Dolphins (37-17). In the loss to Miami, running backs Caleb Huntley (six carries, 57 yards) and D’Onta Foreman (nine carries, 24 yards) both scored touchdowns, but their quarterbacks struggled as Feleipe Franks, and A.J. McCarron combined for just 89 yards.

The Browns are the favorites in this one despite playing on the road. They are -250 to win while the Falcons’ moneyline sits at +210. The spread features Atlanta +6 (-110), and the over/under for total points is 35.5 (-110).

By The Numbers

Last season, Cleveland was the slightly stronger team on offense. They ranked 13th in scoring, averaging 26.3 points per game. The Falcons ranked 16th, averaging 24.8 points.

Defensively, both of these teams ranked in the bottom half of the NFL. The Falcons ranked 19th in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of 25.9 points per game. The Browns ranked 22nd allowing 26.6 points.

Current Season Odds

In what should be a competitive AFC North, the Browns currently have the second-best odds of winning the division at +155. The Falcons are +850 to win the NFC South, a division that also hosts the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In terms of winning the Super Bowl, the Browns currently have the eighth-best odds at +1600. The Falcons fall to +6000 to win Super Bowl LVI.

Cleveland Starters Could See Some Time

While head coach Kevin Stefanski has kept many of his starters pretty sheltered throughout the preseason, it appears that a few may see some time Sunday night.

Most importantly, it appears that Baker Mayfield could suit up, albeit for probably just a series or two.

Last season, Mayfield threw for 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns, and just eight interceptions in 16 games. He also rushed 54 times for 165 yards and another score.

Aside from Mayfield, it is somewhat unclear what other starters will play. It is probably unlikely that Odell Beckham Jr. plays as he returns from his ACL injury, but it is possible that running backs Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt could get some work.

Defensively, expect the Browns to be in the top third in terms of overall defense this season. With the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, Takk McKinely, and others, this unit has the potential to be pretty good.

Falcons Have Decisions To Make At Quarterback

To this point, starting quarterback Matt Ryan has yet to play in a preseason game, and while he may see a series or two Sunday, it likely won’t be much more than that.

What the Falcons do have to decide is who is going to be the backup. Initially, the role was expected to be filled by A.J. McCarron, but he is out for the season after tearing his ACL.

With McCarron out, they need to figure out who is going to back up Ryan. They have undrafted free agent Feleipe Franks, but they also brought in Josh Rosen this week to compete for the spot, and Rosen is expected to play Sunday.

The McCarron injury will also push them to be even more conservative with Matt Ryan as they don’t want him to also suffer an injury during the preseason. Last year, Ryan threw for 4,581 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

Take Cleveland To Win And Cover

These two come in with different motives. For the Browns, there is seemingly more of a focus on making this a final tune-up for the regular season.

For Atlanta, due to the McCarron injury, this is now more of an audition for the backup spot.

While anything can happen in the preseason, this is setting up nicely as a game the Browns should win.

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