Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans: Odds, Analysis, NFL Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2018

FILE - In this Nov. 25, 2018 file photo Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield looks to pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati. The Browns have done a great job of protecting Mayfield recently, and haven't allowed a sack in 125 snaps, the longest active streak in the NFL. Things will get more difficult for the Browns (4-6-1) on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 when they visit the Houston Texans (8-3) and their defense led by pass-rushing stars J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Watt is tied for second in the NFL with 11 1/2 sacks and Clowney has seven. (AP Photo/Gary Landers, file)
Gary Landers/Associated Press

The Houston Texans are 11-6 straight up and 10-7 against the spread with Deshaun Watson starting at quarterback. The Cleveland Browns are 3-5 SU and 4-4 ATS with Baker Mayfield starting at quarterback, which isn't bad considering where they came from.

In an interesting quarterback matchup, Houston hosts Cleveland on Sunday afternoon.


NFL point spread: The Texans opened as 4.5-point favorites; the total was 45 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Line updates and matchup report.

NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 34.0-12.1 Texans. NFL picks on every game.

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or Spotify or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news.


Why the Browns Can Cover the Spread

The Browns own their first winning streak since 2014 after beating the Cincinnati Bengals 35-20 on the road in Week 12. Cleveland drove its first four possessions of the game 78, 56, 96 and 59 yards to touchdowns to take a 28-0 lead and cruised from there for its first road victory since 2015.

On the day, the Browns got outgained by the Bengals 372-342, but those numbers don't mean much considering about three-quarters of the yardage the Cleveland defense allowed came in garbage time.

Just prior to that, the Browns beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-16. So Cleveland is 2-1 both SU and ATS since canning head coach Hue Jackson. At 4-6-1 overall the Browns trail the Baltimore Ravens by just a game and a half in the battle for the second AFC wild-card spot.


Why the Texans Can Cover the Spread

The Texans just ran their winning streak to eight in a row with a 34-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Monday night. Houston potted the Titans the first 10 points of the game before using a 27-0 spurt spanning the halves to take control on its way toward the cover as a 3.5-point favorite.

On the night, the Texans outgained Tennessee 462-365 and outrushed the Titans 281-105.

Houston has outgained four of its past five opponents and outrushed each of its past five foes. It's also 4-1 ATS over that span. At 8-3 overall, the Texans are tied with the New England Patriots for the No. 3 spot in the AFC playoff standings, although the Patriots own the head-to-head tiebreaker.


Smart Betting Pick

Houston beat Cleveland last season 33-17, but the Browns are a better team than they were that day. Also, Cleveland is 5-3 ATS this season as an underdog. The Texans may still win this game outright but smart money bets the Browns and the points.


NFL Betting Trends

The total has gone under in seven of the Browns' past eight games against the Texans.

The total has gone under in 10 of the Texans' past 13 games at home in December.

The Browns are 7-3 ATS in their past 10 games in the early afternoon.


All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.