The winless Cleveland Browns (0-5 Overall, 0-2 Away) play the Houston Texans (2-3 Overall, 1-2 Home) at 1 p.m. E.T. today. Last week, the Browns played the New York Jets and lost 17-14. Three of their losses were by three points, while the other two were by 14 and 24 points. The Texans have certainly been up and down this season. Last week, they play the very hot Kansas City Chiefs and lost 42-34. The week prior, they beat Tennessee 57-14. They have been competitive, losing to the Patriots by three points and beating the Bengals 13-9. In the first game of the season, Jacksonville took down Houston 29-7. Our Cleveland plays Houston 2017 NFL free pick has the Texans favored by 8.0 points and the over/under is 47.5.
Cleveland Pluses and Minuses
Cleveland has had trouble on both offense and defense, scoring just 15.4 PPG and allowing 24.8 PPG. Rookie QB DeShone Kizer (50.9 COMP%, 3 TDs, 9 INTs) has had a tough go of it, thus far being sacked a dozen times and fumbles three. His primary receiver has been RB Duke Johnson Jr. who has 23 catches for 270 yards and one touchdown. As a running back, he’s averaging 4.8 YPA and has two TDs. Kizer is averaging 4.5 YPA and also has two TDs.
On defense, the Browns have a dozen sacks, 25 TFL, three picks, and six forced fumbles. They have also broken up 20 passes. CB Jason McCourty, who is the team’s leading defender in the secondary, comes to this game with seven passes defended, two picks, and two forced fumbles. Defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah (18 TCKLs, 2 SCKs, 3 TFL, 2 PD) needs to have a big game to give this team a shot today.
- Kizer, at this point, is over his head
- A few defensive players are potential difference-makers
- Lack of offense is a major problem
Houston Pluses and Minuses
Our Cleveland plays Houston 2017 NFL free pick has two rookie quarterbacks competing. The second plays for the Texans. QB Deshaun Watson (62.1 COMP%, 12 TDs, 4 INTs) is having a better inaugural season. Although like Kizer, he has been susceptible to the sack, having gone down on the turf 13 times. He has also fumbled three times. WR DeAndre Hopkins (35 REC, 10.4 YPC, 5 TDs) is an extremely dangerous receiver. While Watson has proven to be an able runner, averaging 8.1 YPA and crossing the goal line twice. RB Lamar Miller has 83 carries for 331 yards and one TD. He’s scored once. The O-line has been fairly porous, allowing 20 sacks total.
Although the Texan offense is scoring 28.8 PPG, the defense is allowing 26.0. They have 11 sacks, 17 TFL, and 17 PD. In addition, the D has four picks and eight forced fumbles. The defense has scored two touchdowns. One of Houston’s top defensive players, Jadeveon Clowney, is questionable with a knee. Along with 16 tackles, he has three sacks, four TFL, and one PD. He’s also forced one fumble, recovered two, and scored once. Safety Andre Hall, who has four PD, two INTs, and one FF, could be a major force in this game.
- Watson is a major force on the field
- Texans have a solid air and ground game
- Defense will have numerous opportunities to score today
- The Texans are starting to gel
- Cleveland is still struggling on offense
- Houston offense may be tough to contain today
Cleveland Plays Houston Free Pick
When we count all of the pluses and minuses we do like the Texans today at -8.0. We see them bouncing back after the loss last week to KC. Our Cleveland plays Houston 2017 NFL free pick is the Texans at -8.0. We like the under at 47.5.