Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) at Cleveland Browns (3-7)
Opening Spread: Browns +3
Opening Game Total: 44
Opening Team Totals: Browns (20.5), Buccaneers (23.5)
Weather: Outdoors, rain and notable wind expected
The Line Report
- This line opened as Browns +3.
- This line has moved to Browns +3.5.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Browns +3.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Browns +3.5.
- This total opened at 44 points.
- This total has moved slightly down to 43.5 points.
The Browns Offense vs. Buccaneers Defense
The Browns have a top-five caliber offensive line. Tampa Bay has a fringe top-10 front at full strength, but it is still without difference-making edge Shaquil Barrett. As long as Browns right guard Wyatt Teller is able to go, Cleveland has a moderate advantage in the trenches. If Wyatt is unable to go, Cleveland still has a macro edge in the trenches, but the Buccaneers’ interior will be more difficult to manage.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Browns are 4-6 against the spread this season.
- The Browns are 8-1-1 on overs this season.
- Jacoby Brissett is 34-33-2 against the spread in his career.
- Jacoby Brissett is 34-34-1 on overs in his career.
- Kevin Stefanski is 17-26 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Kevin Stefanski is 24-18-1 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Browns are scoring 24 points per game, good for 10th in the league.
- Cleveland is 17th in the league in yards passing per game and fifth in yards rushing.
- Deshaun Watson’s suspension ends next week.
- Per the Edge, Nick Chubb’s 923 yards rushing are fourth in the league. Chubb has exceeded three targets in a game once this season.
- Kareem Hunt has under 10 yards rushing in two of his last four games, and he’s only breached 50 yards rushing in one game this season. Hunt has four or more targets in three of his 10 games.
- Amari Cooper’s 25.5% target share is 19th in the league and his 37.7% air yards share is 13th. Cooper has double-digit targets in five games this season.
- Donovan Peoples-Jones has at least 10 PPR points in six of his last seven games. He has at least six targets in five of those seven contests.
- Browns dynamic tight end David Njoku returned to action last week and was eased into the offense. Before his injury Njoku had six or more targets in each of his previous five games.
- Per TruMedia, Njoku has played 268 snaps as an in-line tight end, 42 on the perimeter, and 103 in the slot.
- The Buccaneers have allowed 18 points per game, which is fourth in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Buccaneers have allowed the 16th-most yards rushing per game and the fewest yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Tampa Bay has given up the 18th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Buccaneers have allowed the ninth-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
- The Buccaneers have allowed the second-most PPR points per game to tight ends lined up in the slot.
The Buccaneers Offense vs. Browns Defense
Tampa Bay has a fringe top-10 offensive line that is strong at offensive tackle and right guard, while being below average at center and left guard. The Browns’ defensive front is an average unit as a whole, though dynamic edge Myles Garrett is a matchup nightmare for anyone. This trench matchup is a relative draw from a macro sense, while the Buccaneers are better equipped to mitigate Myles Garrett than most teams in the league.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Buccaneers are 3-6-1 against the spread this season.
- The Buccaneers are 2-8 on overs this season.
- Tom Brady is 187-129-12 against the spread in his career.
- Tom Brady is 169-157-2 on overs in his career.
- Todd Bowles is 35-37-5 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Todd Bowles is 37-40 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Buccaneers are scoring 18.3 points per game, which is 27th in the league.
- Tampa Bay is fifth in the league in yards passing per game and last in yards rushing.
- Per the Edge, Tom Brady leads the league in passing attempts.
- Against the Seahawks in Munich, Germany two weeks ago, Leonard Fournette had 14 carries and one target while rookie running back Rachaad White 22 carries and no targets. Fournette was injured in that contest, but we can reasonably expect Fournette and White to now be in a “ride the hot hand” form of timeshare.
- Chris Godwin leads the team with a 21.3% target share. Godwin has an 18% air yards share, and he has double-digit targets in five of his last seven games.
- Mike Evans’ 20.4% target share is second on the Bucs and his 35.2% air yards share leads the team.
- Julio Jones has missed much of this season, but he has five targets in each of Tampa’s last two games.
- Cameron Brate is currently running ahead of Cade Otton at tight end.
- Per TruMedia, Mike Evans has played 385 snaps on the perimeter and 122 in the slot.
- Chris Godwin has played 133 snaps on the perimeter and 278 in the slot.
- Julio Jones has played 108 snaps on the perimeter and 41 in the slot.
- The Browns have allowed 26.9 points per game, which is 30th in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Browns have allowed the third-most yards rushing per game and the 14th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Cleveland has given up the 17th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- Cleveland has given up the sixth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers.
- The Browns have allowed the 21st-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
This Is What You’re Betting on in Browns vs. Buccaneers
This game looks like it will be impacted by weather, as rain is expected with 20 mph sustained winds and 30 mph gusts. This wind is right in the range where it can start to be a factor. If the forecast for said wind begins to trend up from here, both team’s passing attacks and kicking games could be significantly impacted.
The Browns are 1-6 over their last seven games, but four of those losses came in one score games against teams that are .500 or better. Jacoby Brissett’s offense has exceeded expectations this season while the Browns’ defense is among the most disappointing units in the league. I’m treating the Browns more like a 5-5 team than a 3-7 team. The 5-5 Buccaneers are in a similar boat in the sense that three of their losses have come in one-score games. Tampa’s offense has been among the more disappointing units in the league this season, but the Bucs entered their bye with back-to-back wins over the Rams and Seahawks.
A bet on the Browns starts as a bet on their premium offensive line and running game. You couldn’t have asked more out of Brissett, who will be making his final start before Deshaun Watson returns from suspension next week. Watson makes the Browns a very dangerous team long-term, but his return creates a level of variance both this week and next week that the 3-7 Browns have to manage. Cleveland’s offensive line and run game are major positives in a rainy and windy environment, but it might also help out their defense as well. The Browns’ defense is a talented unit, but they have largely underwhelmed this season. Your biggest concern as a Browns bettor apart from betting on Brissett against Tom Brady, is that Cleveland’s defense continues to fall below expectations.
A bet on the Buccaneers is a bet on a Brady team that is coming off their bye. Tampa was trending up entering their bye last week, and it made a point of cranking up the volume in its run game against the Seahawks. The Buccaneers have the least productive running game in the league right now, but it might have to be featured again due to the elements in Cleveland this week. Brady has plenty of experience in adverse conditions, but a windy game will impact what the Bucs try to do on offense more than it will for the Browns. So if you’re betting on the Bucs you are betting on their offense providing a solid effort while their defense plays up against a Browns’ offense that regularly exceeds expectations. Todd Bowles is among the most blitz-happy play-callers in the league, and a windy environment that could impact the passing game is a positive for his style. Your biggest concern with a Bucs bet is that they lose in the trenches on both sides of the ball in a wind game.
Awards Market Ramifications: None
Winner/ Confidence Pool: I play in a number of winner pools, so while I will be Tampa heavy in that format, I will have some exposure to Cleveland due to the expected weather. I expect to be right with consensus on this game in my confidence pool rankings.
Spread Pool: If you’re in a spread pool where you can get the Bucs -3, I’d lean in that direction. I’m much less enthusiastic about the Bucs -3.5 due to the weather conditions. I’m not going to directly bet on this game.
Survivor Pool: This contest should be avoided in survivor pools.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 35-20
Props 2022: 36-21