Opening Spread: Browns -3.
Opening Game Total: 34.5.
Opening Team Totals: Browns (18.75) Saints (15.75).
Weather: Outdoors, extreme wind.
The Line Report
- This line opened as Browns -3.
- This line has moved to Browns -2.5.
- This total opened at 34.5 points.
- This total has moved to 32.5 points.
Browns: Questionable: RB Nick Chubb, WR Amari Cooper, WR David Bell, TE David Njoku, Edge Myles Garrett, Edge Jadeveon Clowney, CB Denzel Ward, S John Johnson III.
Saints: Questionable: WR Chris Olave, WR Jarvis Landry, LB Pete Werner, CB Marshon Lattimore, S Marcus Maye.
The Browns Offense vs. Saints Defense
Cleveland has a top-five offensive line. New Orleans has a league-average defensive front. Cleveland’s offense has a moderate advantage in the trenches.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Browns are 7-7 against the spread this season.
- Clevland is 8-5-1 on overs this season.
- Deshaun Watson is 27-27-2 against the spread in his career.
- Watson is 26-30 on overs in his career.
- Kevin Stefanski is 19-27 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Stefanski is 24-21-1 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Cleveland is scoring 22.4 points per game, good for 13th in the league.
- The Browns are 21st in the league in yards passing per game and fifth in yards rushing.
- Cleveland passes on 57% of their plays and runs on 43% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions.
- The Browns are 2-1 under Watson, but their offense has been limited in each of those three games.
- Nick Chubb is third in the league in yards rushing with 1,252, per The Edge. Chubb is tied for third in the league with 12 rushing touchdowns.
- If Chubb misses this contest Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson will see role expansion.
- Amari Cooper has six or more targets in all three of Watson’s games this season. Cooper has been held below 60 yards receiving in each of those contests.
- Donovan Peoples-Jones saw a 12-target spike against the Bengals in Watson’s second game, but Peoples-Jones has four or fewer targets in Watson’s other two games.
- David Njoku has 15 total targets in the two games he’s played with Watson.
- New Orleans has allowed 22.5 points per game, which is 17th in the league.
- The Saints have allowed the ninth-most yards rushing and the 26th-most yards receiving per game to running backs, per The Edge.
- New Orleans has given up the 19th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Saints have allowed the third-fewest yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
The Saints Offense vs. Browns Defense
I have the Saints ranked as a top-10 offensive line. Cleveland’s defensive front has premium Edge Myles Garrett, but they are a slightly below-average unit as a whole. New Orleans has a moderate advantage in the trenches from a macro sense, while the Saints are better equipped to mitigate Garrett than most teams are.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Saints are 5-9 against the spread this season.
- New Orleans is 6-8 on overs this season.
- Andy Dalton is 81-72-6 against the spread in his career.
- Dalton is 80-78-1 on overs in his career.
- Dennis Allen is 19-29-1 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Allen is 22-26-1 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- New Orleans is scoring 20.4 points per game, which is 22nd in the league.
- The Saints are 12th in the league in yards passing per game and 21st in yards rushing.
- New Orleans passes on 61% of their plays and runs on 39% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions.
- Dalton remains the Saints’ quarterback.
- Given the wind situation in Cleveland, Taysom Hill could see a usage bump in this contest.
- After five games of relative usage reduction, Alvin Kamara saw 21 carries and two targets last week against Atlanta, per The Edge.
- Chris Olave has breached 100 yards receiving once in his last seven games. Olave has fewer than 50 yards receiving just once during that span.
- Rashid Shaheed has four targets and at least 75 yards receiving in each of his last two games.
- Jarvis Landry has four receptions for 34 yards receiving over his last three games.
- Juwan Johnson has at least one receiving touchdown in five of his last seven games.
- Clevland has allowed 23.3 points per game, which is 20th in the league.
- The Browns have allowed the fifth-most yards rushing and the 16th-most yards receiving per game to running backs, per The Edge.
- Cleveland has given up the 23rd-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Browns have given up the sixth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers.
- Cleveland has allowed the 19th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
This Is What You’re Betting On in Browns vs. Saints
Just about every year, there is an extreme wind game in Cleveland. Sustained winds of 20-30 mph with gusts more than 40 mph are currently expected for this contest. If you’re wondering why this game total is so low, that’s why. Sustained 30 mph winds will alter both teams’ passing and kicking games.
If You’re Betting on the Browns
A bet on the Browns is primarily a bet on their premium offensive line and highly capable running game in a significant wind game. If current forecasts hold true, it will significantly impact both teams’ passing attacks. That might actually hurt Cleveland more than New Orleans. If Chubb misses this contest, that’s a negative for Cleveland, but the Browns still have one of the deepest running back rooms in football. I wouldn’t classify Watson as a running quarterback, so his athleticism could be an asset in this game environment.
If You’re Betting on the Saints
Normally, this would be a nightmare situation for a dome team like New Orleans, but they are reasonably well-equipped for this environment. The Saints have a top-10 offensive line, Kamara is a high-end running back that’s a difference-maker in the short passing game, and then there is Hill’s running ability.
If Sean Payton was at the controls for this contest, I’d be confident Hill would see his biggest workload of the season. I still think it’s possible for Allen’s Saints, but I’m less certain. Hill is the kind of player that could genuinely be the difference in a contest where neither side can effectively throw. To that end, Olave is in danger of missing this contest. That potential loss would be largely negated in a wind game, as the Saints would struggle to take advantage of Olave’s skillset in this particular game environment.
Your concerns are the same for both teams, as one broken run could end up being the difference in this contest. Both offenses have strong offensive lines with premium running backs. Both defenses have struggled against the run, but they might deploy more heavy fronts if current weather reports are accurate.
Awards Market Ramifications: Chris Olave is an Offensive Rookie of the Year contender.
Winner/ Confidence Pool: I will be Browns heavy, but I will have exposure to both of these teams in winner pools. I will set this game as close to the bottom of my confidence pool rankings as I can.
Spread Pool: I stay away from significant wind games against the spread. I will lean towards the Saints in spread pools where you pick every game.
Survivor Pool: This contest should be avoided in survivor pools.
Ryan’s Recent Betting Record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 46-24
Props 2022: 51-31