Dr. Bob Previews RAVENS (-13) Vs. BROWNS
Baltimore used a dominating defense and a conservative offense led by a rookie quarterback to win last season, but the Ravens are now looking good offensively as Joe Flacco matures and their defense has sprung some leaks in the secondary. The Ravens allowed Chiefs' backup quarterback Brody Croyle to put up decent numbers (5.9 yards per pass play) in week 1 and they were torched last week for 421 pass yards at 9.2 yppp in their win over San Diego.
The run defense has been a brick wall, allowing just 2.2 ypr, but the Ravens need to shore up their pass defense. I don't think the pass defense will be an issue this week against Browns' starting quarterback Brady Quinn, who has averaged just 5.1 yppp in his career and only 4.3 yppp in two games this season.
Cleveland appears to be a worse than average running team too, so I don't expect the Browns to keep up with Baltimore's suddenly better than average offense that has averaged 5.7 yppl the first two weeks. Cleveland can't stop the run, as they allowed Minnesota (226 yard at 6.3 ypr) and Denver (188 yards at 5.2 ypr) considerably more yards per rush than those teams would normally get.
Overall, the Browns have yielded 5.6 yppl to two average offensive teams, so the Ravens should score a good number of points.
My ratings favor Baltimore by 13 points with a total of 38 1/2 points, which are both right on the actual line and total. However, teams that lose to the point spread in week 1 and week 2 are 42-22 ATS on the road in week 3 if they are not facing another team off 2 spread losses, including 8-0 ATS for dogs of 12 points or more.
That trend will get me leaning with Cleveland.
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