Two teams in disarray meet in Cleveland this week for a NFL lines matchup as the San Francisco 49ers (4-8) arrive to take on the Browns (2-10). Both teams have chaos at the quarterback position, as the Browns are turning the starting job back over to Johnny Manziel (so long as he doesn’t go to another party, post a video and then lie about it). The 49ers have Blaine Gabbert under center after banishing Colin Kaepernick from the starting position because of his inability to lead the offense. The Browns are favored by 1.5 points, and the over-under total is 41 points. The 49ers are coming off an overtime win in Chicago, in which Gabbert and wide receiver Torrey Smith were the shocking heroes, although the defense was particularly impressive, playing with backups at both inside linebacker and one outside linebacker position. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has reverted back to his typical form, throwing for a 64.2 paser rating. The 49ers are 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games with teams who have losing records at home. They are also 4-1 against the spread in their last five contests played on grass, and 5-1 against the spread in their last six road games.
The Browns are 1-4 against the spread in their last five home contests and 0-4 against the spread in their last four games played on grass. It’s smart for them to start Manziel because they need to see if he can be the Browns’ quarterback of the future. If he can’t, he should get some looks so that other teams can take a look at him and consider bidding on his services this fall. The Niners’ defense appears to be on a roll, though, so I would take the Niners to win this game straight up (and definitely to cover).