The Cleveland Browns (2-1) head to the Peach State to take on the Atlanta Falcons (1-2) during the early slate of games this Sunday. The Browns have the postseason in mind as they await the return of their starting QB, while the Falcons are looking to add more wins as they continue to keep games close. Make sure to read on for a Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons preview, both team depth charts, most recent injuries, betting odds, and full game picks for what should be in an interesting matchup at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds
The Atlanta Falcons are currently 1.5-point underdogs at home against the Cleveland Browns. While I originally found this number to be a bit short, Atlanta has been surprisingly competitive this year, as seen by the team’s 3-0 record against the spread. The total is currently 47.5.
Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons Prediction
Like most bettors, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the Cleveland Browns, especially knowing they would be starting backup QB Jacoby Brissett for the first 11 games of the season. However, the team has been fairly competitive, despite a last-minute collapse against the New York Jets. The Atlanta Falcons have really surprised me by going undefeated against the spread, as I believed this to be one of the worst teams in the league heading into the year. However, this week Atlanta is facing a Browns team that is rested on the road after taking down the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday.
I’m definitely a fan of Atlanta’s offensive pieces like RB Cordarelle Patterson and rookie WR Drake London, both of whom have been vital in keeping Atlanta close this season. However, the big disappointment has been TE Kyle Pitts, who only has nine catches thus far and hasn’t found the end zone once. If Pitts is once again a nonfactor, the talented Cleveland secondary will be able to shut down the other receivers and completely take away the Atlanta passing attack.
The X-factor here will be the Cleveland run game, which I don’t believe the Falcons will be able to keep up with. The Browns are averaging 5 yards per play on the ground, and it’ll take a more talented front than Atlanta’s (380.7 total yds/game this season) to slow down Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. I see the team sticking to the plan: run as much as possible, don’t force Brissett to air it out too much, and control the clock.
While Marcus Mariota and the Falcons could keep it within a field goal, I have no issue laying the points with Cleveland with a strong lean towards the under.
- In the last 7 games, the Cleveland Browns are 6-1 to the under facing teams with a sub-.500 record
- In the last 6 games, the Atlanta Falcons are 0-4-1 ATS facing teams with an above-.500 record
- In the last 6 games, the Cleveland Browns are 5-1 to the under the game after gaining over 350 yards
Cleveland Browns Injuries: Myles Garrett (Q), Taven Bryan (Q), Jedrick Wills Jr. (Q), Ronnie Harrison Jr. (Q)
Atlanta Falcons Injuries: Elijah Wilkinson (Q)
Will Drake London be able to work against this Browns secondary? How will Nick Chubb hold up against this Falcons front? Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Browns vs Falcons below.
Cleveland Browns RBs vs Atlanta Falcons Defensive Front
With two running backs that could start for numerous squads, it’s no surprise that the Cleveland Browns are the number one rushing team in the league right now. Nick Chubb leads the team (and the league) with 341 yards, with Kareem Hunt at 151. While the Atlanta defensive front is fully healthy, it’s going to have trouble against this talented RB crew. The Falcons are middle of the pack in terms of run defense, currently allowing 109.3 yards per game on the ground, but this is by far the best rushing attack the team has faced.
Drake London vs Cleveland Secondary
In a draft filled with talent at WR, it appears that the Falcons got one of the best with former USC Trojan Drake London. The receiver has amassed 214 yards and two scores so far in an offense that wasn’t expected to be all that productive. The Cleveland Browns have some talent in the secondary with cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II. However, Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson was able to haul in 8 catches for 84 yards against the Browns, despite some suspect QB play in the second half of the game.