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Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons October 2 Betting Preview
After a considerable momentum win this past Thursday night, the Cleveland Browns are headed to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in hopes of securing a win against a struggling Falcons team.
The Browns, who probably should be undefeated, are rolling. The offense, in particular, looks to be in sync as Amari Cooper has had back-to-back 100-yard receiving games in an offense that relies heavily on the run.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, their offense has yet to produce wins. One underwhelming commonality between these two teams is the defense, and due to that, the game might be a little tighter than either fanbase may have expected.
The Falcons and head coach Arthur Smith run a similar offensive philosophy yet are clearly in tank mode.
Former Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota quarterbacks the Falcons, and he has not brought the spark needed to get this team going. Kyle Pitts, a top-five pick in last year's draft, has been woefully underutilized, and Smith seems oblivious to his talent.
Smith will look to run the ball a lot, and the Browns defense will be shorthanded regarding run stoppers. Jadeveon Clowney is projected to miss his second straight game due to a sprained ankle. Linebacker and one-half of the green dot, Anthony Walker, will be out for the season with a knee injury.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is also banged up heading into this game, and his availability is still yet to be known. If this list wasn't enough for you, Myles Garrett, who got into a serious car accident earlier this week that could've been life-threatening, has not had his game availability decided.
Although the Falcons are averaging the ninth most points per game through these three weeks, the offense has been somewhat one-dimensional and littered with turnovers. Marcus Mariota has given up six turnovers in total, half of those being interceptions.
The Browns secondary still hasn't looked like they have reached their potential yet. Sunday's game will be a suitable matchup for both teams, and maybe the Falcons can get their passing game energized against a shaky Browns secondary. In that case, they can hopefully build some chemistry between Mariota and their past two first-round draftee pass catchers in Pitts and Drake London.
Joe Woods left Denzel Ward on an island against Diontae Johnson, and it would not be shocking if the same occurs with London. The versatile Cordarelle Patterson could also be a significant headache for the Browns linebackers as his ability to be a threat in the run and pass game pre-snap could garner man coverage.
There is a good chance we will see Grant Delpit take more snaps from a box safety role to help mitigate the threat of Patterson.
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The Favorite: CLE (-144)
The Browns are the slight favorites coming into this matchup.
Surprisingly, this matchup carries one of the higher projected point totals in the league (47.5).
The Browns have hit the over in total points in their last five games. They are 2-1 against the Falcons since 2010, and based on Nick Chubb's most recent performance against the Steelers; we can expect him to run wild against the bottom-of-the-barrel Falcons run defense.
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