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Buffalo vs. Cleveland Odds & Week 5 Free NFL Pick

Buffalo vs Cleveland Betting?

Surprisingly Good Matchup Pits Bills vs. Browns on Thursday Night

Let’s be honest, not too many die hard football fans had October 3 circled on their calendars as a can’t-miss NFL game. But a game between the EJ Manuel led Buffalo Bills and the AFC North leading (you read right!!!)

NFL Network – Thursday Night Football – Buffalo Bills (2-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2)
When: 8:25 PM ET, Thursday, October 3, 2013
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
Broadcast: NFL Network
Bills vs. Browns Betting Lines from betonline.com
Buffalo Bills +4½ -115 +185 Ov 41 -110
Cleveland Browns -4½ -105 -215 Un 41 -110

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Cleveland Browns actually offers some intrigue. Buffalo has a few injury concerns ahead of Thursday night’s contest while an injury to the Cleveland offense has paved the way for reserve a quarterback to make his team respectable.

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The Buffalo Bills had to expect that thing were going to be a little dicey when they decided to go with EJ Manuel as their starting QB heading into the season and their season has been inconsistent, as advertised. The running game of Buffalo was supposed to dominate anyway! Manuel was terrific against Carolina, he almost did the impossible against New England and he has had a few bumps in the road as well. Manuel is exciting but is rarely going to be the difference in a game this early in his career.

CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson are the backbone of this offense although they are banged up already and somewhat disappointing thus far. Fred Jackson has outplayed CJ Spiller but there is little doubt that the talent of Spiller could be the difference Thursday. Expect both to be less than 100% Thursday – not a good sign for the Bills.

Defensively the Bills had been leaky before their win in Week 4 against Baltimore. They limited the Ravens run game to just 24 yards on nine attempts. They allowed 347 yards passing with two touchdowns to Joe Flacco but picked off five passes in the win. Could it be that the Bills D has turned the corner?

The Cleveland Browns lost their starting QB Brandon Weeden to injury and they traded Tent Richardson – doom for the Browns – right? Wrong – they have reeled off two straight wins and look anything but the doormat many envisioned when they lost two of their cornerstones on offense. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Brian Hoyer has stepped in and developed quite a chemistry with Jordan Cameron which has made all the difference to this team. Cameron, who had 10 catches in Sunday’s 17-6 win over Cincinnati and has 16 receptions and four touchdowns in the past two games. Against Cincinnati last week the Browns produced 336 offensive yards and ran for 89 yards on 30 carries. Quarterback Brian Hoyer hit on 25 of 38 throws for 269 yards and two touchdowns – not too shabby considering the Bengals were considered a top tier defense before that game.

It has been the defense that has absolutely shone for Cleveland this year – their one true consistent entity every Sunday. Coming into Week 4, Cleveland had the seventh-best run defense – something that will come in handy against Buffalo`s run-heavy offense. Last week the Browns held the Bengals to 266 yards of offense and won the turnover battle by a +2 margin. Cleveland allowed no Bengals touchdowns in their two red zone tries. Cleveland is quietly one of the better defenses in the game right now and should give Manuel and the banged-up Bills fits on Thursday night.

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider

• Under is 12-3-1 in BUF last 16 games on grass.
• Over is 8-3 in BUF last 11 games in October.
• Under is 12-3 in CLE last 15 home games.
• Under is 16-5 in CLE last 21 vs. AFC.
• Under is 18-7-1 in CLE last 26 games on grass.

I like the resurgent Browns to win the game Thursday night but I don’t exactly love the spread. This game has all the makings of a close encounter. That said I like the Browns to slow the hobbled Bills back and to inflict some damage on a Buffalo defense that has certainly had its share of issues so far this year. Take the Browns to cover the 4 1/2 points and to stay atop the AFC North – I can’t believe I just said that!

Pick: Cleveland Browns – 4 1/2

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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