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The Cleveland Browns host the Buffalo Bills this week on Thursday Night Football with the Browns currently favored by -4.5 at 5 Dimes sportsbook, up from an opener of -3 with a posted total of 41. If you glanced at the schedule before the season started, you would have likely pegged this game as a dud. But this game actually has some juice to it with the Browns winning their last two games and coming in at 2-2 and the Bills coming in at 3-1.
The betting public is split on this one as you might expect, almost 50/50 at sportsbook.com according to their betting trends feature. With that in mind, it's important to note the early line move. Moves like that aren't caused by "public" action. Safe to say there's some early sharp money on the Browns (at -3). Perhaps they feel the Browns have found their answer at QB with Brian Hoyer?
We don't see much separating these two. The Bills come in with better yards per point numbers, with a 15.9 on offense and a 17.1 on defense while the Browns are a 20.2 on offense and a 16.6 on defense. Those numbers tell you how hard a team has to work to score one point and how hard their opponents have to work to do the same. In other words, the Bills score 1 point every 15.9 yards gained. The Browns score 1 point every 20.2 yards.
To put those numbers in perspective, good offensive teams will be in the 13 range. On the defensive side of the ball, teams with a ypp number of 17 or higher would be considered good defensive teams. So, both teams look good defensively using these numbers while both are below average offensively, particularly the Browns at 20.2 which is poor (28th in the NFL). So the million dollar question is, will those numbers continue to improve with Hoyer at QB or will the Browns continue to be a poor offensive team.
Our score prediction model which is now operating using this years stats only, has this one tight with the Browns on top by a score of 18-17. We agree with the model here and the yards per point numbers would also agree. The Bills have played nothing but tight games, losing by 2 to the Pats and winning 3 games by 1, 7 and 3 points. We simply don't see anything to suggest the Browns are going to be able to extend any kind of a margin here and think the Bills have a great shot at winning straight up. Bills +4.5
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Buffalo's last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Buffalo's last 6 games on the road
Buffalo is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Buffalo is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Buffalo's last 5 games when playing Cleveland
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Cleveland's last 5 games
Cleveland is 7-18 SU in its last 25 games
Cleveland is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Cleveland's last 15 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Cleveland's last 5 games when playing Buffalo
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