NFL odds: Broncos vs. Browns prediction, odds, pick, and more
The Denver Broncos will take on the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 7. It’s time to continue our NFL odds series with a Broncos – Browns prediction and pick.
Both of these teams desperately need a win entering this game. Both have lost their last two games, and the playoff chances for both teams continue to shrink with each loss. The Broncos have three wins against subpar opponents, so a win here on the road in Cleveland would do wonders for the locker room’s confidence. It would also help Denver keep pace in a hotly contested divisional race in the AFC West. The Browns are in an even better division, so sporting a losing record after seven weeks of play would destroy their postseason hopes. Cleveland needs a win here to have any chance of hanging with the Baltimore Ravens and even the Cincinnati Bengals.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the odds for Thursday’s matchup.
NFL Odds: Broncos-Browns Odds
Denver Broncos +3 (-104)
Cleveland Browns -3 (-118)
Over 42.5 points (-105)
Under 42.5 points (-115)
Why The Broncos Could Cover the Spread
Playing on a short week means that injuries are a huge factor. Cleveland is one of the most banged up teams in the NFL, and they will be down a couple of key players for this matchup. Running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have already been ruled out for this one, and there’s a laundry list of important players who missed practice this week. Starting offensive linemen JC Tretter, Jedrick Wills, and Jack Conklin will all be questionable at best, and quarterback Baker Mayfield missed the first practice in preparation of Week 7. The Browns won’t be anywhere near full health in this one, which should give the Broncos a massive leg up.
Cleveland’s entire offense revolves around the running game, and that running game is in serious jeopardy. The Browns will be forced to deploy Demetric Felton and D’Ernest Johnson as their backfield duo because of injuries. If this duo was running behind a fully healthy Cleveland offensive line there wouldn’t be too much cause for concern. The injuries to the line should cripple this offense. Combine that with a hobbled Baker Mayfield and a fantastic Denver defense, and it looks like the Broncos are set for a nice performance on that side of the ball.
Why The Browns Could Cover the Spread
Cleveland is known as a fantastic offensive team, but this defense has been elite for most of this season. Edge rusher Myles Garrett has a strong case as the best defensive end in the entire NFL, and the secondary has looked surprisingly strong with good performances from just about everyone who takes the field for Cleveland. The Broncos have been a poor offensive team all season long, and that should continue against the Browns. Denver has never surpassed 30 points, and they only managed 24 points against a poor Las Vegas Raiders defense last week. This should be an easy matchup for Cleveland’s defenders.
While the Broncos are certainly healthier than the Browns are, they could be missing a few key players in this game. Linebacker Alexander Johnson will be questionable for this game, and he’s been a huge part of this defense throughout the season. Perhaps even more important is the possible absence of left tackle Garrett Bolles. Bolles is one of the best offensive linemen on the Broncos, and he would be assigned the job of handling Myles Garrett. If Denver is forced to deploy a backup tackle against one of the best defenders in the league, things could get ugly quickly.
Final Broncos-Browns Prediction & Pick
This game should be a close one. The Browns are just too injured to trust in this spot, so the pick goes to the underdog Broncos. It’s possible that Cleveland misses the majority of their starters here, so Denver should have a pretty easy time covering at the very least in this game.
FINAL PICK: Denver Broncos +3 (-104)