The Denver Broncos (3-3, 2-1 away) travel to Ohio to take on the Cleveland Browns (3-3, 2-1 home) in an AFC showdown to kick off Week 7 of NFL action. Both teams are looking to break losing patterns, with the Broncos on a three-game skid and the Browns losing two in a row.
The scheduled kickoff time for Thursday night’s contest is at 8:20 p.m. EST inside FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. Cleveland is a two-point favorite at home, and the over-under total is at 41 points.
What to Know – Denver Broncos
Denver began the 2021 season with three straight victories but have dropped their last three contests by an average margin of 11.3 points. The Broncos need a win to remain a game back of the Chargers and Raiders in the AFC West standings.
Teddy Bridgewater is expected to start under center and lead the Denver offense that produces 388.7 yards of offense and 21.0 points per game. The talented quarterback is dealing with foot and quadricep issues, so don’t expect the signal-caller to be operating at 100%.
Look for Denver to use its two-headed punch in the backfield of Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams to power the offense if Bridgewater is hurting. The two backs have run for over 300 yards this season and are averaging over 4.6 yards per carry.
The Broncos are 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven games against the Browns. The total has gone under in four of the Broncos’ last six games.
What to Know – Cleveland Browns
The Broncos are banged up, and it doesn’t get much better for the hosts. Cleveland will be without the services of quarterback Baker Mayfield in a pivotal AFC battle. A loss Thursday night puts the Browns in an uphill battle in the AFC North, falling three games back of the Ravens.
With Mayfield sidelined, the quarterbacking duties shift to backup Casey Keenum. Keenum is making his first start to 2019, sporting a 6-10 record as a starter with stops in Minnesota and Denver. The 33-year old will do his best to maintain Cleveland’s 26.0 points and 415.2 yards of offense per game.
Both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are out for the Browns’ backfield. The starting duties will most likely go to D’Ernest Johnson, with Demetric Felton providing a pass-catching option and change of pace back. There is a strong possibility Odell Beckham Jr. will miss Thursday’s tilt, but wideout Jarvis Landry is expected to suit up after returning from the IR.
The over has hit in six of Cleveland’s last nine contests, and the Browns are 1-4 ATS in their previous five games played in October.
The Pick is In
With so many injuries on both sides of the ball, it is hard to forecast what to expect between these two teams. Denver and Cleveland will struggle to find the endzone, and both kickers will be hard at work Thursday night.
Even with the low total, we can’t see this one hitting it unless there are some unexpected big plays. Thursday’s contest turns into a field position game and a field goal fest.
Betting Pick: Broncos/Browns Under 41