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We have a clash of two 3-1 teams, Cleveland Browns host the Indianapolis Colts in the 2nd game on Sunday.
Indianapolis has recovered well after suffering a shock defeat to Jacksonville on an opening day and is on a 3-game winning streak. Their success is built largely on a water-tight defense which leads the league in points per game and yards allowed per game. That defense faces a tough test as Cleveland brings a high-powered offense which is finally showing signs of clicking under new Head Coach Kevin Stefanski. They also have the best turnover ratio in the NFL at the quarter stage of the season. Can the Browns continue to establish a dominant run game in the absence of Nick Chubb? Or will the Colts suffocating defense be too much to overcome for Baker Mayfield & co.?
Betpat NFL Betting:
Money line: Colts 10/11 Browns 10/11
Points Spread: Browns -1
I think this will be a low scoring game. The under 49 is a decent bet. The Halftime/Fulltime are both 7/1 for one team to be leading at HT and lose, and I really like that one.
The Colts defense is the top ranked defense in fantasy and is still available in 14% of NFL.com leagues. Running Back Jonathan Taylor has the talent and the opportunity to establish himself as a big-time fantasy back with Marlon Mack sidelined for the season. Tight End Mo-Allie Cox burst on the scene against the Minnesota Vikings and is still available in the vast majority of NFL.com leagues. T.Y. Hilton is, as always, their main receiving weapon but I don’t expect huge days from him or Mr. Rivers in this game.
Kareem Hunt’s value exploded with the injury to Nick Chubb last week. He will be running behind a formidable offensive line in a system that like to lean on the run game. He was already performing well in fantasy and could now become a monster while Chubb is out. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have him, he’s a must start. Odell Beckham had a huge day last week at the Dallas Cowboys and the big question is whether that was a one-off or the turning of the corner in his Cleveland career. They were actively looking to get him the ball in a variety of ways which is a good sign. However, this Colts defense is a very different animal to the Cowboys defense he battered last week. If you have him, you might as well start him unless you have a ridiculous receiver group.
Very tight game to call. While both teams have good records, questions remain about both due to the level of opposition they have played. While a win for either won’t do much to answer those questions, a loss will no doubt give rise to a lot more doubt. I’d nearly be tempted to call a tie here; I see 2 very evenly matched teams. But there will more than likely be a winner, so I’ll lean towards the Colts.
Colts by 2