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Cleveland vs. Baltimore, 12/24/2011 13:00
Point Spread: -12/-107 Baltimore
The Baltimore Ravens got extremely lucky last week. After losing to the San Diego Chargers Sunday night, Baltimore was able to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers lose to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. That loss for the Steelers kept the Ravens in first place in the AFC North. If the Ravens win their final two games, they not only win their division, but they also hold the No. 2 seed in the AFC.
It's safe to say that the Ravens are going to come back more hungry and motivated than ever Saturday against the Cleveland Browns after catching such a great break. They should be able to make easy work of the hapless Browns, which is something they have been making a habit of over the last few years.
Baltimore has won seven straight meetings with Cleveland. They have won six of those by duble-digits, and four by 14 points or more. That includes a 24-10 victory over the Browns on 12/04 in their first meeting of the season on the road. That game was actually a bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. The Ravens outgained the Browns 448-233 for the game, led by a career-high 204 rushing yards from Ray Rice.
Cleveland is down to No. 2 quarterback Senaca Wallace, who is going to struggle mightily against a Baltimore stop unit that ranks No. 3 in total defense (287.9 yards/game). The Browns rank just 30th in the league against the run (145.4 yards/game), so expect another huge day from Rice as the Ravens take a big lead early and build on it.
Baltimore has been unstoppable at home this season. The Ravens are 7-0 SU & 4-2-1 ATS at home this year, scoring 28.4 points/game while allowing 15.0 points/game. They are outscoring their opponents by 13.4 points/game on home turf, and outgaining them 349-255 on average.
The Browns are 11-29 ATS in their last 40 versus good rushing defenses - allowing