NFL fans won’t likely have this matchup circled on the schedule as both of these franchises are in a rebuild. Nevertheless, both the Browns and Bills are full of young talent and potential NFL superstars.
The Bills have been plagued with inconsistency throughout the year, but Buffalo fans have to be happy with their 2-2 start. Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel has been wise beyond on years, leading the Bills to a huge 23-20 win against defending champion Baltimore last week at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
However, Buffalo’s rushing attack may be a little weaker this week as their two-headed rushing attack of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson may not be able to play this week. Running back Tashard Choice will take the rushing duties if Spiller and Jackson can’t go.
The Bills secondary has been a weak spot al season long and though it’s possible that top cornerback Leodis McKelvin could be back his week. Though, at this point, he’s 50/50 to play Sunday.
After the Browns were vilified by the national media for seemingly quitting on the 2013 season, they have ripped off two straight wins. Last week, they were dominant against the Cincinnati Bengals, holding them to just 266 yards of offense while forcing two turnovers, winning the game 17-6.
Since Brian Hoyer has been starting for the injured Brandon Weeden, the Browns are 2-0, and while he may not be the longterm answer, he seems to give this team a better chance to win than Weeden. He hasn’t been officially made the starter, but I doubt Weeden gets his job back even when he returns from injury.
This game opened at Cleveland -3 but has moved to -4 rather quickly with most bettors favoring the Browns. The game opened at 41 and hasn’t moved off that number at most sportsbooks.
Both of these teams have had trouble moving the ball at certain points this season, and while the Bills defense has been terrible, the Browns unit is extremely underrated. Cleveland is strong against the run and has an excellent secondary.
Cleveland’s offense has gotten a lot better since Josh Gordon has come off his suspension, but I still think they will struggle to score points more often than not. Same goes for the Bills, and this will doubly be true if they C.J. Spiler and Fred Jackson can’t play Sunday. Stevie Johnson may also not be able to play.
I like the Browns in this game, but it’s too close to call for me to wager. The under 41 is the best play in this matchup as both offenses have key players that are either banged up or will potentially miss this game. The Bills defense is terrible, but I think it’s too early to trust Brian Hoyer and this Browns offense. I think both teams will struggle to score in this one.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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