The New England Patriots have been great finishers in recent seasons, winning 28 of their last 30 games played in the month of December.
New England begins December play for this season by hosting the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in Foxborough.
Point spread: Patriots opened as 10-point favorites; the total was 45. (Line updates and matchup report.)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 26.1-16.3 Patriots
Why the Browns can cover the spread
Yes, Cleveland has its problems at quarterback. However, outside of the two interceptions, it got a decent performance from Brandon Weeden on Sunday against Jacksonville. With that being said, the Browns do not excite from an offensive standpoint. They rank 21st overall and 28th in rushing.
On the other side of the ball, the Cleveland defense ranks fourth overall and fifth against the run. The Browns are also 2-1 against the spread this season when dogged by more than a touchdown.
Why the Patriots can cover the spread
New England has won four of its last five games, averaging 34 points per game in the process. The Patriots have also come from behind for their last two victories, most recently beating Houston 34-31 after trailing 17-7.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski has caught a TD pass in four straight games since returning from injury, and the Pats are averaging 123 yards per game on the ground. New England is also 5-1 ATS at home this season.
The Odds Shark computer is calling for a Patriots victory but a Browns cover in a game that stays UNDER its total. New England is in playoff-charge mode as it looks to secure a top seed in the AFC. Cleveland, meanwhile, has a decent defense, but just won't be able to keep up with the Patriots on the scoreboard.
Give the points with the Pats.
- Cleveland is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games
- The total has gone OVER in 10 of New England's last 15 games at home
- Patriots 28-2 SU past 30 games in December