The Baltimore Ravens (7-2) play host to their AFC North rival the Cleveland Browns (5-3) on Sunday (11/12/23) at 1 p.m. EST in Week 10 of the 2023 NFL season. The Ravens are red-hot and enter this game as -6.5 favorites, while the over/under between these teams with stout defenses is set at 38.5.
This article provides Browns vs. Ravens analysis, predictions and betting recommendations and explains why the best bet in this matchup is the Ravens -6.5.
Browns vs. Ravens Prediction & Best Bet
The red-hot Ravens are the best team in football right now. They are first in DVOA and first in EPA and have been dominating on both sides of the ball.
On their current four-game winning streak, the Ravens have outscored opponents 130-49 (an average margin of 20.3 points). In their last two home games, they have played two projected playoff teams (Detroit and Seattle) and they have won by a combined score of 75-9. That is utter domination.
It was also pure domination when these teams played each other back in Week 4, although a big part of that was Deshaun Watson being out with an injury. The Browns started rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who threw three interceptions and could not get anything going offensively. The Ravens scored 14 of their 28 points off those turnovers when they had drives originating in Cleveland territory, including one on the 10-yard line.
Things won’t be quite so easy this time with Watson now back from injury. The Browns’ offense looked much better last week with Watson back under center, although they also had an extremely favorable matchup against the Arizona. Cardinals. It was really the defense that carried them, as it has all season. They allowed only 58 yards of total offense.
The Browns’ best hope in this game is to run the ball effectively and slow the game down. But that will be much harder after losing LT Jedrick Wills Jr. to a leg injury last week. The Browns are now without their two starting offensive tackles, and they were already struggling up front (bottom 10 in both adjusted line yards and adjusted sack rate).
The Lions and Seahawks both have much better offenses than Cleveland. If they could only score a combined nine points against this Ravens defense over the last three weeks, it’s hard to have much confidence in the Browns doing much better. While the Browns’ defense is stout and will make life difficult for Lamar Jackson, the Ravens should be able to do enough offensively to cover the 6.5-point spread.
Our biggest hesitation with this pick is simply that it’s a divisional game, and that can often end up being closer than expected. Still, we have more than enough confidence in how the Ravens are playing right now to lay the points. Where we hesitate more is taking the under, even with these two great defenses. We would still lean towards the under but prefer to focus on backing the Ravens against the spread.
Browns vs. Ravens Prediction & Best Bet: Ravens win 23-13, Ravens -6.5 (-105 at FanDuel)
Browns vs. Ravens Best Betting Odds
The spread is sitting just under the key number of 7 after opening at Ravens -5.5. It would take some sharp action on the Ravens to move the line to -7, but it’s worth monitoring especially if you’re looking to take the points with the Browns.
With the top two defenses in the league in terms of DVOA, it’s no surprise the total is so low at 38. It has been closer to 40 at several sportsbooks so it’s trending down, but it’s unlikely to move more than 0.5 in either direction at this point.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Ravens winning 23-16.
Browns vs. Ravens Key Injuries
The Browns have several starters at risk of missing this game, highlighted by CB Greg Newsome, RT Dawand Jones and TE David Njoku. They also put standout LT Jedrick Wills Jr. and rookie CB Cameron Mitchell on IR this week.
Nose tackle Michael Pierce is the only Ravens starter at risk of missing this game, and he seems likely to play so long as his current illness clears before Sunday.
Browns vs. Ravens Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Browns vs. Ravens below.
Ronnie Stanley vs. Myles Garrett
If the Browns have any chance of winning this game, their defense needs to dominate. They need to prevent big plays and they probably need to create some of their own to give their offense good field position. Enter Myles Garrett, arguably the most unstoppable defensive force in the league this season, and the current co-favorite (with Micah Parsons) for Defensive Player of the Year.
Garrett is the single most important non-QB player on the Browns. He is capable of single-handedly swinging a game, like he did a few weeks ago against the Colts.
Just got done watching back Myles Garrett’s day against Indy.
5 pressures, 2 sack fumbles (one recovered for a TD)
6 total run stops including 3 TFLs
A blocked kick
Garrett, all by himself, probably accounted for a 14 point swing in this game. A truly unreal performance by him.
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) October 23, 2023
The Browns might need a repeat performance like that to give them their best chance at winning this game. He will spend most of the game lining up against Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley, who missed the last game between these teams when Garrett had 1 sack and 3 pressures. This is the key matchup to watch when the Ravens have the ball.
Browns offensive line vs. Ravens front seven
As noted above, Browns LT Jedrick Wills Jr. went on IR this week with a sprained MCL, and RT Jack Conklin is already out for the season with a knee injury. So the Browns are without their two starting tackles against a defensive front that currently leads the league in sacks. *Checks notes* yeah that’s not good.
Those injuries will impact not only Deshaun Watson’s pass protection but also the Browns’ run game, which is a huge part of their offense. Even without Nick Chubb, the Browns are the run-heaviest team in the league, averaging just shy of 35 rushing attempts per game. Only the Ravens and 49ers run the ball on a higher percentage of their team’s plays.
It all starts up front for the Browns’ offense, and if they struggle against the Ravens’ defensive front, then Watson and co. are going to have a very hard time moving the ball in this game.