Cleveland (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) has been a dangerous team to back as a favorite, covering just two of its last nine when laying points. The Browns opened as 8.5-point chalk over the Bears (1-1, 1-1), who have won five of the last six meetings.
Opening Odds Analysis
With Bears starting quarterback Andy Dalton nursing a sore knee and the Browns potentially without Jarvis Landry, the total had dropped to 46.5 by Monday night. The Browns had also dipped to 7.5-point favorites after failing to cover as two-touchdown home chalk last week against Houston.
Chicago News & Notes
Justin Fields’ first NFL start could come this week if Dalton isn’t able to return from the knee injury that knocked him out of last week’s 20-17 win over the Bengals. As of Monday night, the Bears were awaiting more test results on Dalton’s left knee, and the team confirmed that he would be the starter if he’s healthy enough to go.
Fields played the entire second half against the Bengals and threw for just 60 yards, also tossing an interception that set up a Cincinnati touchdown, but he did add 31 yards on the ground. Chicago finished the contest with only 83 passing yards, and Darnell Mooney was the lone Bears receiver to gain more than 24.
Chicago’s defense got its swagger back against the Bengals by forcing turnovers on three consecutive Cincy possessions, including an interception that Roquan Smith returned 53 yards for a touchdown. Two other turnovers led directly to Bears field goals, helping Chicago score 20 points with just 206 total yards of offense.
Cleveland News & Notes
Durable receiver Jarvis Landry may have to miss just the second game of his nine-year career due to injury after spraining his MCL on Cleveland’s opening possession last week against Houston.
As of Monday, the Browns had yet to decide whether they would put Landry on injured reserve, but that injury typically takes several weeks to recover from so it seems unlikely he’ll suit up. Last week’s early exit snapped Landry’s 111-game streak with at least two receptions.
Cleveland does have Odell Beckham Jr. waiting in the wings to replace Landry, but Beckham might not be quite ready to go after undergoing knee surgery last year.
With Landry unavailable against the Texans, Cleveland leaned heavily on backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who combined for 146 yards on 24 carries. Tight ends Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant could also be players to target this week in fantasy after combining for nine catches and 89 yards against the Texans.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield might not be 100 percent this week either after popping out his shoulder against the Texans. The injury didn’t seem to faze Mayfield, who ran for a touchdown and threw for another after having the shoulder popped back into place. However, it might have been why the Browns were so conservative throwing the ball, gaining just 199 yards on Mayfield’s 19 completions.
Staff Betting Pick: UNDER 46.5
Whether it’s Dalton or Fields at quarterback for the Bears, there’s not much to fear these days from a Chicago attack that ranks 29th in the league in total yards. Cleveland should also play things tight to the vest with Mayfield banged up and the team thin at wide receiver.
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