The Patriots opened as 11.5-point favorites as they prepare to host the Cleveland Browns in Week 14.
So about this Cleveland business … actually, is there really anything worth discussing in Cleveland? Josh Gordon is a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators, but the guy throwing him the ball (are they really back to a banged-up Brandon Wheedon?) is a nightmare for his own offensive coordinator. Jordan Cameron isn’t a bad piece to build around either, and Joe Haden is a quality corner. But the rest of this squad? Yeeeech. So in summary, Cleveland has Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron, Joe Haden, sadness, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a bunch of tear-stained LeBron jerseys. That’s it.
Cleveland rates among the top teams in the league in terms of passing yardage allowed, but that may be a bit misleading considering they have allowed 21 passing TDs against just 9 picks. They do an adequate job of getting to the quarterback with Barkevious Mingo leading the way with four sacks. But it remains to be seen if (in my best Australian accent) the Mingo eats our Brady. Yeah, I went there. Admit it, you at least cracked a smile.
After falling behind early in consecutive games, the Pats are likely to put the pedal to the metal for a full four quarters this week, and that is bad news for the Browns. I’m picking the Pats to cover.
Other Lines I Like
Ravens (-7) vs. Vikings
I’m starting to think that Joe Flacco is the anti-Peyton – he only plays well in cold climates when the games matter most. Or maybe Jacoby Jones is what makes this team tick. But in any event, they are coming off a few extra days of rest, while the Vikings have played the equivalent of an extra half a game because of the past two overtime contests. I’ll take the fresher team with the better QB here.
Raiders (+2.5) @ Jets
If you watched the debacle against our boys on October 20, then you saw Geno Smith’s most recent TD pass. Since then, he’s thrown 8 picks and absorbed 13 sacks, and he has posted three straight games under a 25 passer rating. That’s the quarterbacking equivalent of ordering a steak and being served vomit on a plate. The Raiders are a flawed team too, but I will bet on ANYBODY who happens to be playing against Geno Smith in a given week until he proves me wrong.
2013 Record ATS: 17-19-3
Record ATS since 2010: 124-116-5