Free NFL Prediction: Broncos vs Browns
NFL betting sees the Denver Broncos taking on the Cleveland Browns on Sunday October 18th at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cappers Picks provides complimentary handicapping picks all NFL season long so stay tuned for more FREE NFL predictions.
Denver Broncos (5-0) at Cleveland Browns (2-3)
Date: Sunday October 18th
Time: 1:00 PM
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium – Cleveland, Ohio
ATS Betting Lines: Denver Broncos -4.0
NFL Moneyline Odds: Broncos -205
NFL Betting Total: 42
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The undefeated Denver Broncos travel to Cleveland this week to try to push their record to a perfect 6-0, while the Browns are fighting to stay at the .500 mark in a division that looks as if the Bengals are going to cruise through.
Cleveland is coming off an impressive OT win where their offense was clicking all game long.
The Broncos offense meanwhile sputtered as they have most of the year, but their defense stood tall and they grinded out a tough 16-10 victory on the road against Oakland.
Here’s a fun stat heading into this one, Browns QB Josh McCown has a 102.8 QB rating and has thrown six touchdowns against just one interception. Future Hall of Famer
Peyton Manning has posted just a 77.3 QBR and has six TDs to go along with seven interceptions.
That stat pretty much sums it up, Peyton Manning has not looked like Peyton Manning this year and the offense has yet to find their potency that made them one of the best and dynamic offenses in the NFL the past two seasons.
Many pointed fingers at Gary Kubiak early in the season, blaming the coach’s system, but still holding out hope that this offense would get it together.
It’s week six and I hate to say it, but this offense just isn’t very scary despite the bevy of weapons and much of that falls on Peyton Manning. The veteran QB has thrown just one touchdown against four interceptions in his last two starts and has only eclipsed 300 yards passing once this year.
You can look to Kubiak’s desire to implement a running game, but Manning has attempted 189 passes in five games (roughly 38 pass attempts per game) and his numbers just aren’t good.
The O-line has not done a great job in getting a push up front which has stalled the run game and put Manning under pressure more often than a non-mobile QB would ever want.
This team is 5-0 for one reason and one reason only and that is their incredibly talented defense. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips must feel like a kid in a candy store with the seemingly limitless options of playmakers on defense that he can dial up on blitzes every play.
DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller have been a wrecking crew in the pass rush and a secondary that includes Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby and T.J. Ward has been very good.
While McCown’s numbers look nice, this defense should have a field day this week against an offense that ranks just 28th in the NFL running the football and against a defense like Denver, if you can’t run the football you’re in for a long day as they will just set Ware and Miller loose on the QB all day long.
A 2-3 start is nothing to be ashamed of for a Browns team that looked destined to finish last in the AFC North once again. Granted, the Ravens are an absolutely terrible football team so sitting ahead of them in the standings isn’t exactly something to hang one’s hat on.
That being said, a 33-30 OT win last week against those Ravens was a good confidence boost for a team that had dropped back to back games by a combined 10 points, so it was nice for them to grind out a close one.
Josh McCown, as mentioned, has silenced those calling for Johnny Manziel to start at QB with some pretty solid play and he has done a good job of spreading the ball around to his somewhat limited options.
Duke Johnson has been a solid option catching the ball out of the backfield, and last week McCown called upon Tight End Gary Barnidge numerous times, completing eight passes to him for 139 yards and a TD.
The run game for this team has been pretty non existent and in last week’s win, Isaiah Crowell “led the way” with 49 yards on the ground, one yard better than his season average of 48 yards per game.
Travis Benjamin has been a nice find in the passing game as well as the 25-year old receiver has caught four touchdowns in five games and has racked up 82 yards per game through the air.
This team was very stout on defense a year ago, especially at home, but this year that has not been the case as the Browns are giving up yards in huge chunks, with 400.4 yards per game (30th), 149.4 rushing yards/game (31st) and 26.4 points/game (22nd).
Now, the Broncos offense has not been stellar, but the Browns need to tighten up as that is still Peyton Manning on the other side of the field and given enough opportunity, he will find a way to cut the Browns apart.
NFL Betting Trends:
• DEN are 21-8 ATS vs. a team with a losing record
• Under is 6-2 in CLE last 8 home games
• Under is 8-3 in CLE last 11 games on grass
4* Free NFL Betting Prediction: UNDER 42
Cleveland’s defense is anything but outstanding, but the Broncos have just not been able to find any kind of consistency with putting points on the board.
The Browns offense is not good enough to run up a lot of points against this Broncos D, so this one may take the same shape as the Broncos’ win last week over the Raiders, field position and field goals will be the order of the day.
NFL Free Score Prediction: Denver 20 – Cleveland 13
Broncos get up 7-0 early, Cleveland answers back with a field goal and things kind of go back and forth the rest of the way with Denver adding another major and a pair of kicks, and Cleveland scoring a garbage time TD to keep it close but not quite get there.
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