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Cleveland Browns vs. Minnesota Vikings Week 3 Betting Predictions & Preview

Browns vs Vikings NFL Handicapping

The Cleveland Browns received shocking news this week when star running back Trent Richardson was traded away suddenly. Now they’ll have to get their emotions in check in a hurry as they make the trip out to Minnesota to face a tough Minnesota Vikings squad that’s desperate for a win.

Cleveland Browns (0-2) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
Date: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Venue: Mall of America Field
City: Minneapolis, Minnesota
O/U Odds: 40.5
Spread: Minnesota -6.5
Money Line: Minnesota -280, Cleveland +235

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The Brown offense will have a whole new look in this one. Quarterback Brandon Weeden is out with an injury, No. 1 running back Trent Richardson has been traded, and top receiver Josh Gordon returns from a suspension.

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Brian Hoyer is expected to get the nod for the Browns. He could be in for a long day. Minnesota has a fierce pass rush, and the Cleveland offensive line didn’t hold up well last weekend, allowing five sacks against Baltimore. The offense can’t get much worse, having scored only a single touchdown in their first two games under new head coach Rob Chudzinski and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

The Cleveland defense remains a positive. The team has playmakers sprinkled all over the field, and defensive guru Ray Horton at the controls. The unit was able to hold Joe Flacco in check, limiting him to 211 yards.

The Vikings didn’t lose as badly as the Browns did, but there win surely was hard to swallow. The team held a late lead, only to surrender a 16-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett with 10 seconds remaining in their game against the Bears, falling 31-30. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Cordarrelle Patterson got the game started with a bang, returning the game’s opening kickoff 105 yards for a score. Quarterback Christian Ponder threw for 227 yards and a score with an interception in the game, giving him four interceptions on the season. Adrian Peterson added 100 yards on 26 carries. He rushed for 103 yards on 23 carries between the tackles, but netted a loss of three yards on three runs outside the tackles.

The Viking defense was able to force four turnovers against the Bears, which is a definite positive. Three of those turnovers came from Jay Cutler, who was intercepted twice, and fumbled on a sack by Jared Allen, leading to a 61-yard touchdown return by Brian Robison. The Vikings will need to work on their special teams after allowing Devin Hester to return five kickoffs for 249 yards, most in Bears history.

Cleveland seems to be doing all they can to give this one away as they look ahead to the NFL Draft. The team must still be reeling from the news of Richardson’s departure. Don’t be surprised if they mail this one in.

On the flip side, Minnesota will be looking to notch their first win, and they’ll be doing it in front of what should be a raucous home crowd.

The Vikings are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven home games.

The play: Minnesota -6.5

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