Browns vs. Giants: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Ryan DavenportContributor IOctober 5, 2012

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 13:  Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants calls the play at the line during the game against the Cleveland Browns on October 13, 2008 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Four games in, it's been a bumpy road for defending Super Bowl Champions the New York Giants, as the G-men fell to 2-2 on the year last Sunday. 

This week, they'll host another team that's failed to live up to expectations thus far, when the 0-4 Cleveland Browns come to town on Sunday. 

For both teams, this Sunday's matchup represents an opportunity to rebound, as the Browns will be in search of their first win of the season, while the Giants will be looking to get back to the top of the NFC East standings. 

Here's a look at game information, betting lines, fantasy studs and more. 

Giants vs. Browns 

When: Sunday, October 7, 2012 @ 1 p.m. EST

Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

TV: CBS (check local listings) 

Live Streaming: NFL Sunday Ticket

Listen: WFAN 660 AM (New York), Cleveland stations

Spread (via OddShark): Giants -13 

The Giants are obviously the heavy favorite in this matchup, and for good reason, as Tom Coughlin's team has done well against relatively weaker teams and lost close ones against Dallas and Philadelphia. 

At the other end of the field, the Browns have been within striking distance of a win in each of their four games, losing by 10-or-less points in all four. 

Considering the Browns' average margin of defeat (6.25 points), the line may be a bit high, but until they win a game, oddsmakers won't show Cleveland much respect.

Over/Under: 44

The Browns' offense hasn't exactly been piling up the points, and against a Giants defense that has allowed more than 17 points just once, they'll have a tough time breaking the 20-point barrier at MetLife Stadium. 

The Giants should be good for at least 25 points, but the under looks like it could be promising for this game. 

Key Injuries: (via CBS Sports

CLE- DL Frostee Rucker: Probable (shoulder) 

CLE- DB T.J. Ward: Questionable (hand)

CLE- DB Usama Young: Probable (knee) 

CLE- WR Travis Benjamin: Questionable (hamstring)

CLE- S Tashaun Gipson: Questionable (knee)

CLE- LB James-Michael Johnson: Questionable (ribs and oblique) 

CLE- WR Mohamed Massaqoui: Questionable (hamstring)

CLE- TE Alex Smith: Questionable (head) 

CLE- S Ray Ventrone: Questionable (hand, calf)

CLE- DB Joe Haden: Suspended until Week 6

NYG- DB Jayron Hosley: Questionable (hamstring) 

NYG- DB Antrelle Rolle: Questionable (knee)

NYG- WR Hakeem Nicks: Out (foot, knee)

NYG- WR Ramses Barden: Questionable (concussion)

NYG- DT Rocky Bernard: Questionable (quadriceps) 

NYG- LB Michael Boley: Questionable (hip)

NYG- CB Michael Coe: Probable (hamstring)

NYG- S Kenny Phillips: Questionable (knee)

NYG- LB Keith Rivers: Questionable (hamstring)

NYG- CB Corey Webster: Questionable (hand)

Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

Start 'Em- WR Victor Cruz 

With Hakeem Nicks out, Victor Cruz will be counted upon to carry the load offensively, and will likely be targeted even more than usual.

With 388 yards receiving through four games, fantasy owners should expect Cruz to have a big day against the Browns. 

He should be good for a touchdown and could flirt with another 100-yard day, assuming he plays all four quarters. 

Sit 'Em- RB Trent Richardson

With 244 yards and four touchdowns through four games, Trent Richardson has put together a solid start to his NFL career. 

However, Richardson has struggled on the ground against quality opponents, as he failed to break 50 yards against Baltimore, Buffalo and Philadelphia. 

He'll get his chances, but against a Giants defense that has been solid through four weeks, it seems unlikely that he'll put up big numbers in Week 5. 

Sleeper- TE Martellus Bennett

After a lackluster performance in Week 4, Bennett will look to improve on his one-catch outing against the Eagles on Sunday against Cleveland. 

With three touchdowns and almost 200 yards on the year already, Bennett will be counted on to pick up more yardage until Nicks returns, which is good news for fantasy owners of the big tight end. 

Keys to Victory: 

Cleveland- A better performance out of Brandon Weeden

Yes, Brandon Weeden has improved since his four-interception performance in his NFL debut against Philadelphia, but he's still turned the ball over far too often in the three games since then.

He's failed to throw for a touchdown in two of the team's four games thus far, and if Weeden's Browns have any hope of pulling off an upset, he'll need to be better on Sunday. 

New York- Score early, score often 

The Browns have managed to hang around against better opponents all season long, but the Giants have the weapons to pull away early if they execute offensively. 

Cleveland is giving up 286 yards a game through the air, so if Eli Manning and his receiving corps get into a rhythm, they should be able to pull away by halftime. 


New York 28, Cleveland 13

The Giants should roll on Sunday, as they'll be hungry after last week's disappointing loss to a divisional rival. 

That's bad news for the Browns, who have struggled to score consistently this season, and unless that changes in Week 5, Cleveland will be heading to 0-5. 


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