Normally the betting total of 45.5 for the week 10 Texans at Browns pick would be a hammer on the over. This is a matchup of two high-powered offenses, but both have suspect defenses as well. The reason this number has dropped from the 55 total open is because the elements are going to play a factor on rainy and windy day in Cleveland.
Which team does the rain and 25 MPH wind favor? The Browns are -4 point favorites at home coming off a bye, and would seem to be the play as they have a top 5 rushing offense. Cleveland managed just 6 points in very similar conditions against the Raiders at home in week 8 however. The Texans are on the road for the second straight week though, and barely squeaked out a 27-25 victory in Jacksonville as -7 favorites last time out.
Can Houston Get Passing Game Going?
An unfavorable day from Mother Nature would seemingly put Houston at a disadvantage in the Texans at Browns pick. Deshaun Watson and company boast the league’s #6 passing attack, but are very one-dimensional with the 2nd worst rushing offense in the NFL with just 87.6 yards/game.
Watson has been great, and continued that stellar play going 19/32 for 281 yards and 2 TD, while adding another 50 yards on the ground in last week’s win in Jacksonville. That was in perfect conditions though, and the Texans ability to run the ball takes a hit (on paper) with David Johnson being out Sunday due to a concussion. Duke Johnson had just 41 yards on 16 carries last week, against the Jaguars second-worst defense in the league.
The Texans defense could also take a hit if the Browns focus on their running game due to the adverse conditions. Houston ranks last in the NFL, allowing 159.5 ypg on the ground, and Cleveland gets reinforcements with RB Nick Chubb being activated from the injured list. The Jaguars scored two rushing TDs vs. Houston last week, and James Robinson tallied 99 yards on 25 carries.
Browns the Play Off the Bye?
Cleveland should be ready for a grinding game settled in the trenches after having their bye last week. The Browns also know what doesn’t work in similar weather conditions after losing 16-6 to the Raiders in week 8 while battling 26 MPH winds. The Browns managed just 223 yards that game, and lost despite Las Vegas throwing for only 100 yards.
The Raiders were able to beat the Browns two weeks ago by running the ball 45 times for 209 yards. Houston does not have a back comparable in talent to Josh Jacobs however. Watson has 8 TD to 0 INT the last three weeks, and has completed 70+ percent of his passes in three of the last four. How neutered will the Texans passing game be if the weather plays out like the forecast indicates?
Another big question heading into Sunday’s tilt is if Baker Mayfield and the Browns offense can pick and choose their spots in the passing game? Mayfield was just 12/25 for 122 yards in the windy game vs. the Raiders, but Houston also allowed a 300+ yard game to Jacksonville’s Jake Luton last week taking his first NFL snaps.
Free Texans at Browns Pick
Under normal weather conditions, Houston would look like a trendy upset play on Sunday. The forecast has pushed the line 2 points towards the Browns though, and Cleveland definitely gets a boost with Chubb returning to the backfield – even in a limited role.
Cleveland is coming off the bye, and a play on the Browns is basically a play on Mother Nature – or at least what the forecast will do in diminishing the Houston offense.
Cleveland 20 – Houston 13
Free Pick: Browns -4