Following their Week 12 loss in Denver, the banged-up Cleveland Browns have stayed out west ahead of their meeting with the Los Angeles Rams, who enter as 3.5-point home chalk. The visiting team could be without Myles Garrett, and are turning to 38-year-old Joe Flacco at quarterback.
With some questionable QB play and other members of the offense not practicing this week, could Jerome Ford be leaned on even more for an Browns offense that will be lacking game-changing talent on Sunday?
Browns vs Rams odds
Browns vs Rams predictions
Despite a loss, a negative game script, and single-digit carries, Jerome Ford finished with 65 yards on the ground vs. a good Denver defense last week on just nine carries. Over Cleveland’s last eight games, all three losses have come with Ford getting under 10 carries. That might be due to chasing points, but if the Browns want to stay in the playoffs, they have to lean on Ford this week vs. the Rams.
He should see his volume increase this week in an indoor game with a likely neutral game script. The quarterback play is dicey, which could result in fewer total plays, but Ford will carry the load even more on Sunday vs. the Rams.
Backup Kareem Hunt is dealing with a groin injury and has been limited at practice this week, and Amari Cooper was also limited on Thursday. The entire Cleveland offense could revolve around Ford this week, and with a modest rushing total of 50.5 that hasn’t been adjusted from Week 12, this is an easy Over for me.
This is a team that will not want to play from behind with Cooper questionable and Joe Flacco being the starter. This will be a ball-control game that could see Ford hit 10 carries before the first half.
Since Week 6, Ford is busting runs at a 4.7 yards per tote, which ranks No. 1 among running backs with at least 95 carries. Additionally, 13% of his carries are going for at least 10 yards. If he gets a big rush load, this 50.5 could be sweatless.
He can get there on volume or he can get there on efficiency. There are a lot of outs here, and even if the Browns trail early, it is still live. His Milestones at 75+ (+330) and 100+ (+1075) are also live this weekend.
My best bet: Jerome Ford Over 50.5 rushing yards (-110 at bet365)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
Browns vs Rams same-game parlay
This is a pretty big number for a game that, if the rushing props hit, could be a slow and rush-heavy affair. Ford could be the man in Cleveland this week and I can't expect Flacco to throw the ball 35 times.
Kyren Williams looked great in his return last week, rushing 16 times for 143 yards. This game could easily feature both teams' running games, and if the Browns can get their injured defensive starters back in the lineup, this 40.5 should close with some value.
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Browns vs Rams spread and Over/Under analysis
The Rams were a 1-point favorite heading into Week 12, and after the Browns lost Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Myles Garrett, Amari Cooper, and Jordan Elliott during the loss to Denver, the line hit as high as L.A. -5 this week.
Making matters worse for the playoff-hopeful Browns is that DBs Denzel Ward and Juan Thornhill popped up on the injury report this week, as did Hunt. Garrett is looking like a go despite not practicing on Thursday. That news likely moved the line to -3.5 as of Friday.
The real thing to worry about is who is starting under center for the Browns. PJ Walker was ineffective in relief last week and took four sacks (one safety) on 6-of-13 passing. Flacco got the first-team reps this week and has been promoted to QB No. 1 with DTR (concussion) ruled out. The former world champion is 3-14 SU in his last 17 starts.
The Rams are coming off back-to-back wins for the first time this season and have Williams back, who scored a pair of TDs last week. If Cleveland can’t get Garrett, Ward, Thornhill, or Elliott back, it could move this line even further in L.A.’s favor.
This is not a Cleveland offense that is built to chase points, and they’ll want to keep things close and lean on Ford in the running and even in the passing game. It could be a very good game to look at fading Cleveland reception props, as I doubt Flacco will be hitting downfield.
What is most interesting is that this total has been bet up since the look-ahead from as low as 38.5 to 40.5 as of Friday. There is usually some unpriced value in Overs in indoor games, but Cleveland wants this to be a low-scoring game and doesn’t have the players and QB to play decent catch-up football. The injuries are significant on the defense, but neither team plays quick and I can’t expect Flacco to make many adjustments at the line or run a solid hurry-up offense after signing just two weeks ago.
I like the Under at 40.5 here, and think it should drop if Garrett is a full go.
Browns vs Rams betting trend to know
The Los Angeles Rams have only hit the Team Total Over in 6 of their last 20 games (-9.60 Units / -40% ROI). Find more NFL betting trends for Browns vs. Rams.
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Browns vs Rams game info
|SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
|Sunday, December 3, 2023
|4:25 p.m. ET
|Rams +1, 39.5 O/U
Browns vs Rams latest injuries
Browns vs Rams weather
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