Gambling With Gold TNF Preview Broncos vs. Browns

Denver Broncos (3-3) vs. Cleveland Browns (3-3)

Line: CLE -1.5

Total: 40.5 

Preview

The Browns opened up as a significant favorite in this matchup, but the line has continued to drop as Cleveland has ruled out what seems like half their roster for this matchup. Meanwhile, the Broncos got news that Teddy Bridgewater had cleared concussion protocol and would be able to play on Thursday. So here we are, with the Browns being favored by 1.5 at home on TNF against Denver. So which team is going to move to 4-3? 

Cleveland will be without: Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Odell Beckham Jr. and JC Tretter. They also may not have the services of linemen Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills, who are both questionable. That is an insane percentage of their opening day starters that will be sidelined. At least they got Jarvis Landry back?

The Browns have a couple of obvious advantages in this matchup. They have a better coaching staff, they’re playing at home on a short week, and they have a very good defense that should be able to slow down the Broncos. The defense is mostly healthy and they’re facing a Broncos unit that is not overly explosive. Moreover, the Browns employ a capable backup in Case Keenum, who is familiar with Kevin Stefanski’s offensive scheme from their time together in Minnesota. 

The Broncos have a couple of specific advantages in this game as well. For one, their defense, despite being torched last week by the Raiders, is still a very capable unit who is basically going up against the Browns’ B team. Teddy Bridgewater is a covering machine and is a capable QB. Moreover, they have extremely tall wide receivers in Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick, both of whom could find success against Cleveland’s rather small cornerbacks. 

Given the amount of injuries the Browns have to deal with, the Broncos seem like a wise bet. However, the Browns still have a ton of talent and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull out a much needed victory on Thursday night. I won’t touch the side, because I think the variance is too high. I think the Browns will win, but the Broncos could totally shut them down and win by 10+ points. I do like the over tonight, mostly due to the fact that I believe there will be a lot of turnovers on both sides, giving opposing offenses short fields to work with. 

Prediction: Browns 23 - Broncos 21

Best Bets

Over 40.5

Broncos as teaser piece (+1.5 to +7.5)

Teddy Bridgewater o228 passing yards. Following my guy @DanTitus on this one!