Thursday Night Football Picks: Our Staff's Top Bets for Cleveland Browns vs. Denver Broncos
Heading into tonight's matchup versus the Denver Broncos, the Cleveland Browns' injury report reads like a receipt from CVS.
Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, and A.J. Green (the other one) have already been ruled out, while Odell Beckham, Jr., Jadeveon Clowney, Jack Conklin, Malik Jackson, Malcolm Smith, Jedrick Wills, J.C. Tretter, and Mack Wilson are all questionable. Sheeeeesh!
A matchup of Case Keenum versus Teddy Bridgewater might put you right to sleep, which is why we can spice it up with some juicy bets.
In addition to an ever-growing abundance of top-notch content, our staff will be providing us with their favorite overall plays each week of the season.
For this piece, our staff will be covering whatever bets they feel strongest about for the Browns vs. Broncos matchup -- no limitations. Let’s get to it!
Cleveland Browns vs. Denver Broncos Picks
Cleveland Browns -1.5 (-104)
I'm going to say it -- this game became a more attractive betting option for me when Baker Mayfield was ruled out. I'm not anti-Baker, but I love wagering on good teams (yes, I think the Browns are a good team with a good coach) in the first game going to the backup quarterback. It's important to note that Case Keenum and Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski spent lots of time together in Minnesota previously.
-- Geoff Fienberg (@gfienberg17)
There is just no way I’m betting on the Broncos tonight. I know, the Browns are about as injured as a team can be, but I think they find a way to pull it out with Case Keenum under center. The Browns, even without Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, are going to run the ball. Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. should be in the lineup and their defense gives opposing quarterbacks a lot of trouble. I think we get a 4-7 point Browns win at home on Thursday Night Football.
-- Brian Good (@BeGood1219)
Cleveland Browns -2.0 (+100)
Even despite all their injuries, I'm heavy on the Browns this week. Denver's starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, has been dealing with foot/quad issues in addition to already seeing his play waver as of late. If he plays, he has a brutal matchup with the Denver OL versus Cleveland's explosive front-seven. If Bridgewater does not play, there is no way Drew Lock dices up this Cleveland defense. The Browns have some quarterback and OL issues of their own, but Kevin Stefanski has earned my faith enough to believe he can piece together a decent offensive game plan anyway.
-- Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass)
Cleveland Browns Moneyline (-115)
The Broncos are 3-3 with wins over the Giants, Jets, and Jaguars. Yet, we're supposed to be impressed and think they can win this game? The Broncos lost by eight or more points in all three of their losses to the Ravens, Steelers, and Raiders. On the other hand, The Browns will be without Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Jarvis Landry, and potentially Odell Beckham -- call me crazy, I still think the Browns pull this game out with a dominant pass rush.
-- Jason Radowitz (@Jason_Radowitz)
Total: Under 42.0 (-125)
Neither the Browns' nor the Broncos' defense comes in with good form to this Thursday night matchup. Cleveland has allowed 42 points per game during a two-game losing streak, while Denver has allowed an average of 28 during their three-game losing streak. However, the fact that Cleveland's offense is ravaged by injuries and that this game is being played on a short week has us loving the under. Neither Nick Chubb nor Kareem Hunt will play, and Case Keenum is starting in place of the injured Baker Mayfield. We would not entirely rule out the possibility of a Browns outright win, but we do love the under given who is left that is healthy.
-- Mike Spector (@MikeSpector01)
Teddy Bridgewater Over 228.5 Passing yards (-115)
I can see why the bar is set low for Bridgewater's passing yards. Teddy Bridgewater will be up against a Browns' offense without the majority of their key players. It's easy to assume the Broncos' game plan will be to get an early lead, run the ball, and allow their defense to slow down Case Keenum and his skeleton crew of weapons. Although I don't anticipate Bridgewater to have to throw a ton, this line is just too low. He's thrown under 235 passing yards just once this season. It was in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens when he suffered a concussion and missed the second half of the game. The Browns' defense is much better against the run than the pass. I believe the Broncos will have to air it out to move the chains. Expect Teddy Bridgewater to throw enough against the Browns to easily surpass this line.
-- Nate Hamilton (@DomiNateFF)
Case Keenum Under 219.5 Passing Yards (-110)
Case Keenum is getting the start for Cleveland in the place of the injured Baker Mayfield. As a result, I expect the Browns to run the ball against this Denver defense in trying to hide the deficiencies at quarterback tonight. The last time Keenum cleared 220 yards in a start was Week 3 of 2019. I don't think that changes against the fourth-ranked defense in football on short notice.
-- Matt O’Leary (@MattOLearyNY)
Courtland Sutton Over 63.5 Receiving Yards (-120)
Sutton has established himself as the number one option in the Broncos' passing offense. The only concern I have for tonight is the weather in Cleveland looks shotty. Wind is the biggest factor when it comes to weather and football but, hopefully, the conditions lighten up by game time. Sutton has received an insane 28 percent of Bridgewater's targets last week. The Browns have allowed the seventh-most receiving yards in the NFL. Every team's number one wideout has eclipsed this number with ease facing the Browns, with the exception of the Chicago Bears. Sutton has 11 and 14 targets over the last two weeks with 120 and 94 receiving yards. This game won't be a shootout by any means, but this total is a bit low with the volume coming Sutton's way. Best of luck if you tail!
-- Tom Viera (@Tom_Viera)
Teddy Bridgewater 220+ Passing Yards, Courtland Sutton 65+ Receiving Yards, and Melvin Gordon Under 54.5 Rushing Yards (+230) - DraftKings
I'm going to try my hand at parlaying three of my favorite bets tonight for some juicy odds. To date, the Browns rank 20th in Pass Defense DVOA, per Football Outsiders, and they've ceded an average of 243.7 passing yards to quarterbacks. Meanwhile, Teddy Bridgewater has racked up 235 or more yards in every healthy game this season. The Browns have also surrendered the seventh-most receiving yards to wideouts, and Courtland Sutton has amassed 94 or more in three of his last five games -- that's on the back of averaging double-digit targets during that stretch. At the same time, Cleveland's ferocious front seven ranks as third-best against the run, which can make things very tough for Melvin Gordon. As it is, Gordon's only received 9, 9, and 10 carries over the last three games.
-- Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)