CHICAGO (-13.0) 26 Cleveland 15
Cleveland's offense went from bad to worse when they traded WR Braylon Edwards to the Jets before week 5. Edwards and rookie Mohamed Massaquoi gave the Browns' quarterbacks two decent targets to throw to, but trading Edwards away allows Massaquoi to be double-teamed and no other receiver on the roster comes close to filling the void the Edwards left.
Edwards averaged 6.3 yards on the 22 passes thrown to him this season while with the Browns and Massaquoi has averaged 7.0 ypa on 43 passes intended for him. The other wide receivers have combined to average a pathetic 3.3 ypa on 60 passes thrown. The Majority of those balls would have been going to Edwards, which accounts for part of Derek Anderson's recent struggles.
Anderson also hasn't had a tight end to throw too, as pass catching TE Steve Heiden has been out the last 2 1/2 games and normal starter Robert Royal is also injured. The Browns started an offensive linemen at tight end last week and may have to do the same this week. After making the adjustments for Cleveland's drop in their passing numbers my math model favors Chicago by 15 1/2 points.
However, Cleveland applies to a very good 76-21 ATS road underdog bounce-back situation while Chicago applies to a negative 30-92 ATS home favorite angle that is based on their ugly loss to Cincinnati. That same angle won with Cleveland a couple of weeks ago when the Browns upset Buffalo. The strong situations have me leaning with Cleveland despite the negative line value.
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