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coleryan
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Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns: Preview and Pick

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On 09/30/2013 04:24 PM in NFL
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns: Preview and Pick

The National Football League will put a spotlight on two storied franchises for Thursday night football when Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns face off on the gridiron. Both teams were not expected to compete this season but have had some impressive victories early in the season.

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns Odds

The NFL betting line for this game opened up with the Browns listed as (-3.5) point favorites after an impressive win against the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite that victory the early betting money is coming in on the Buffalo Bills, perhaps, because they too had an impressive win. Currently 65 percent of the early wagering is on the Bills. Although the public is on the Bills the line has actually moved in favor of the Browns and can now be found at (-4.5) at some of the top rated online sportsbooks found at Bang the Book.com.

Both of these teams are off impressive victories in week four, but the Browns may have had the better victory as they beat division opponent and rival. For the second week in a row, the Browns rushed effectively enough to open up play action- Brian Hoyer was 8-of-11 for 64 yards and a touchdown on play-action passes.

The Browns have averaged 96.0 yards per game (4.1 yards per rush) since the Richardson trade and Weeden injury, after averaging 56 yards in Cleveland's first two games (3.4 yards per rush). The sky is the limit for the Browns as they are riding a wave of momentum.

The Bills are being led by a rookie at quarterback and a stout defense. This is the same defense that forced Joe Flacco to toss five interceptions in the win. That same defense will be eager to get after Hoyer and the rest of the Browns offense when they take to the field on Thursday night. EJ Manuel will have to try and beat a tough Browns defense with two banged up running backs in Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller.

The latest NFL trends for this game reveal some excellent betting angles leaving up to kickoff. Buffalo is 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in its last 5 games on the road and 2-5-1 straight up in its last 8 games. The Browns are 2-3-1 straight up in its last 6 games at home. The total has gone under in 4 of Buffalo's last 6 games on the road and the total has gone under in 4 of Buffalo's last 5 games when playing Cleveland.

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns Pick


With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.
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Pfile Nickname coleryan
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10/01/2013 03:17 PM
If the Buffalo Bills offense starts to come together this Bills team could be good. Good as in playoffs good.
Right now the Buffalo Bills sit at a 2 and 2 record. They have played 2 good teams and 2 mediocre teams. They have beat one of the good teams (Baltimore) and lost a close one to the other (New England)..
The Bills defense, without 3 of their better players, are rounding into one of the better defensive units in the league. If this team can hold on through the next 2 or 3 games and get back Byrd, McKelvin and Gilmore, while hopefully Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller stay healthy, they could start to challenge some of the better teams in the league.
It will take time for a rookie quarterback to settle into his position. If EJ Manual can start to develop a rhythm with Stevie Johnson and continue to build on his rapport with Robert Woods then this offense could start to score some points.
The defense has carried this team to it’s current record. If the offense starts to catch up to the defense then this team could really start to turn some heads around the league. Heads were already turning when the Bills effectively shut down the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

The Bills have a tough schedule for most of the rest of this season. They are playing some of the better teams in the league. If they can keep beating a few of the better teams while winning the games they should, they will have a shot at the post season.

Realistically though, the Bills will probably have to go at least 3 – 1 in their remaining division games for this to take place. They also need to win the games like this weeks match-up with Cleavland.
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Pfile Nickname coleryan
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10/01/2013 03:19 PM
Buffalo Bills running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson each suffered a minor injury -- a sprained ankle and sprained MCL, respectively -- in the Week 4 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

According to reports Monday, both players -- the collective backbone of the team's offense -- expect to play in the upcoming matchup against the Cleveland Browns, although Spiller is a bit less optimistic. Complicating matters is neither player has a full week to recover; the Bills and Browns meet Thursday.

"You've got Monday, Tuesday, travel Wednesday, [play] Thursday," Spiller said Monday. "If it was a Sunday game, I'd definitely say I'd be out there. I'm going to do everything I can to position myself to be out there. If I can get to at least 80, 85 [percent], I think that would be good enough for me to play."

If Spiller and Jackson are unable to go, six-year veteran Tashard Choice will take the lead role in the team's backfield. At the very least, it seems likely that Choice will see an increased workload.

Ironically, the last time Choice saw significant action was in Cleveland -- a Week 3 contest in 2012, when Spiller left early, with Jackson sidelined by a knee injury. Choice carried the ball 20 times for 91 yards in that game, a Bills victory.
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10/01/2013 03:20 PM
While many fans were outraged following the trade that sent Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first-round pick, News-Herald reporter Jeff Schudel writes how in the end it will be a steal by Browns CEO Joe Banner.

Schudel's theory is that running backs out of Alabama are not worth it, especially in the early rounds.

-- Mark Ingram, picked 28th in the first round by New Orleans in 2011, has rushed for only 31 yards on 17 carries this season. Ingram averaged 3.9 yards on 122 carries (474 yards) as a rookie and 3.9 yards rushing for 602 yards last season.

When it comes to Richardson, Schudel writes how Richardson has rushed for 3,130 yards in 38 career games with 15 starts at Alabama. He rushed for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie with the Browns last year
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Pfile Nickname coleryan
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10/02/2013 02:07 PM
Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – Da’Norris Searcy vs. Jordan Cameron – The Browns tight end has been on fire with 30 receptions and five TDs in four games. He’s a mismatch problem, and if Aaron Williams isn’t healthy enough to take this matchup it’ll be Searcy, who is coming off a solid game last week.

2 – Mario Williams vs. Joe Thomas – A battle of Pro Bowl caliber talents could prove entertaining in passing situations. It’s likely the Browns will leave Thomas one-on-one with Buffalo’s top pass rusher. He’s surrendered just four quarterback hits and eight hurries this season.

3 – Stevie Johnson vs. Joe Haden – It’s not clear if Cleveland will dispatch Haden to exclusively cover Johnson, but Haden has locked down the top receivers of opponents before. He would have to move inside to the slot a good deal however, knowing that’s where Johnson sees most of his work.

- Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good Advantage – Third down defense –
Buffalo’s third down defense took a big step forward last week holding Baltimore to just three conversions on 16 attempts. One of the better units in the league in getting to third down, Buffalo figures to have success against the league’s 25th ranked third down offense.

- Best Advantage – Pass rush -
Buffalo’s pass rush has been very effective in two of their last three games and only one other team in the league (Jax. - 15) has given up more sacks than the Browns (14) through the first four weeks.

- Bills Number 1 Must
Run game – With both of their top backs nicked up coming off a short week, Buffalo’s second-ranked running game could have trouble staying consistent. Cleveland’s fourth-ranked run defense is stout. The Bills need production with the ground game to take the pressure off rookie QB EJ Manuel, who struggled in his first career road start two weeks ago.

- Hoyer who?
Stepping in for injured starter Brandon Weeden (thumb) career backup Brian Hoyer has led Cleveland to two straight victories and is being kept in the lineup by Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski. An Ohio native, Hoyer is with his fourth NFL club in five pro seasons. He hasn’t been spectacular, but his play in crunch time has been solid. On the final two scoring drives to put their last two victories away, Hoyer is 11-16 passing for 111 yards and two touchdowns.

- Familiar face
He wasn’t on the Browns roster at the start of the season, but Willis McGahee was signed four days prior to Cleveland’s Week 3 game at Minnesota and two days after the club traded Trent Richardson to Indianapolis. After shaking off some rust, Buffalo’s former 2003 first-round pick believes he’s ready to pick up the production. In his three career games against the Bills, McGahee has 45 carries for 242 yards for a 5.4 yards per carry average and a pair of touchdowns.

- Run stun
Anchored by nose tackle Phil Taylor, the Browns run defense ranks fourth in the league allowing just 79 yards per game. Through four games they also rank first in the league in yards per carry allowed, surrendering just 2.9 yards per rush. Cleveland is also second in the league in yards per play allowed on first down giving up just 3.47. In Week 3 they held Adrian Peterson to just 3.5 yards per carry.

- Big targets, big plays
Hoyer has made use of big targets in the Cleveland passing game. Jordan Cameron (6’5” 245), Josh Gordon (6’3” 225) and Greg Little (6’2” 220) are all size mismatches in the Browns passing game and the three are largely responsible for most of the Browns big plays on offense this season. Since Gordon has returned to the lineup in Week 3, the three receiving targets have accounted for 11 of the team’s 16 plays of 15 yards or more in the past two games. Cameron also has four touchdowns in his last two games.

- Pass happy
Cleveland’s offense has been prone to put the ball in the air through their first four games. The Browns are passing 65 percent of the time as they’re averaging 45 pass attempts per game. Their 183 pass plays is tied for the league lead with St. Louis, while their 80 run plays rank 27th. Having put the ball in the air more than 30 other NFL clubs, they’ve put a lot of pressure on their offensive line. That’s why Cleveland has given up the second most sacks in the league (17).

- Putting them on lockdown
Browns top cornerback Joe Haden is emerging as a lockdown cover man this season. Cleveland head coach Rob Chudzinski is often assigning Haden to exclusively cover the other team’s top receiver. In Week 1 Haden held Mike Wallace to one reception. In Week 2 he held Baltimore’s Torrey Smith to only underneath receptions as he went for 85 yards on seven catches. At Minnesota in Week 3, Greg Jennings had just three catches for 43 yards, and last week he again kept a deep threat in front of him. Cincinnati’s A.J. Green managed just 51 yards on seven receptions.
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10/02/2013 06:46 PM
Bills vs. Browns:

Pick against this spread with complete breakdown for this game in the latest NFL Gambling Gridiron Podcast

Get it Here: http://tobtr.com/s/5504607
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