NFL Betting Lines Put Cardinals Ahead of Browns

Posted by Aaron . on October 31, 2015 in

After rolling over the Baltimore Ravens this past Monday night, the Arizona Cardinals gave themselves a 1.5-game lead in the NFC West. They now look to move to 6-2 this week as they play the Cleveland Browns, who have been struggling to put consistent games together. They took the Denver Broncos to overtime two weeks ago and then looked much less accomplished last week in their loss to St. Louis.

Cardinals vs Browns Game Preview and NFL Betting Lines

Date/Time: Sunday, November 1st, 1:00 PM
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
TV: FOX
NFL Betting Lines:
Cardinals -5½

The Cardinals got back on the winning track when they dominated the Baltimore Ravens at home, 26-18. The Cardinals had been embarrassed in their Week 5 loss to Pittsburgh. They also got a chance to improve their Monday Night Football record to what is still a week 3-8 all-time slate. Chris Johnson played a huge role for the Cardinals in their home win, gaining 122 yards on just 18 carries and scoring a huge touchdowns.

One of those carried got 62 yards for him, as he rolled over the stomach of a defender and got up to run because he hadn’t touched the ground, and the shocked Ravens barely kept him from scoring that time. That run set up a crucial field goal. Johnson got over 100 yards for the third time this season; the last back to have at least three 100-yard games for the Cards in one season was Edgerrin James, way back in 2007.

Arizona Cardinals

For Arizona to win, they need to continue their stellar defensive play. The Ravens only gained 276 yards against Arizona Monday night, and the Cardinals are sixth in the league so far this year in terms of total defense, permitting only 328 yards per game. They also need Carson Palmer to have another big game. He went 20 for 29 with 275 yards and two scores in the Cards’ win over the Ravens. The Cleveland Brown defense will likely provide some attractive opportunities as they permit 393 yards per game, fifth worst in the league. The Cardinals are 2-1 straight up and against the spread in their three road games so far this year.

Last week, the Browns had no real answer for St. Louis Rams rookie tailback Todd Gurley, who rolled for 128 yards and the first two touchdowns of his NFL career. The most striking number was the 97 yards that he picked up after contact, which leads the NFL this season. However, this wasn’t that much of a surprise given the fact that, in addition to a poor pass defense, the Browns also don’t play that well against the run, permitting an NFL-worst 151 yards per game. They have already given up eight touchdowns on the ground this season.

Cleveland Browns

Betting Odds Trends

Arizona Cardinals

The Browns also looked sloppy on offense against the Rams. They fumbled the ball four times in that game, and the first three led to 17 Ram points. The Cardinals lead the league with 11 interceptions already this season. While Josh McCown has done a decent job protecting the ball in the air, the Browns have already fumbled 13 times in their games this year. However, the fact that McCown hurt his shoulder against the Rams means that Browns coach Mike Pettine has a tough decision this week, whether to start McCown or Johnny Manziel. McCown took four sacks and three other tough hits during the game. N matter which quarterback starts, they will face a daunting Arizona secondary that only permits 224 yards per game. The Browns are 1-2 straight up and 1-1-1 against the spread in home games this year. This week, though, look for the Cards to win and cover.