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Jackson Expected Back for Key AFC North Matchup

The Baltimore Ravens (7-3 SU, 7-3 ATS) are hoping quarterback Lamar Jackson will be ready to go in Week 12 for their Sunday Night Football game against the Cleveland Browns (6-5, 5-6) after missing last week due to illness. The Ravens closed as 1-point road favorites vs the Chicago Bears last Sunday sans Jackson but managed to pull off a 16-13 victory to stay alone atop the AFC North.

Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens
  • Date/Time: November 28, 8:20 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
  • TV Coverage: NBC
  • Opening Odds: Ravens -5 | O/U 48 (Line History)
  • Browns vs Ravens Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Baltimore’s offense obviously was not the same at Chicago, yet earning the win was equally as important no matter how the team got it. Meanwhile, Cleveland had a similar performance in a 13-10 victory against the Detroit Lions but failed to cover as a 13.5-point home favorite.

Bettors have shown some early support for the Browns in what could be a lower-scoring affair, also moving the total down to 46.5. In a scheduling quirk, they play the Ravens in their next two games with a bye week in between, so a sweep could put Cleveland in position to win the division if it comes down to a tiebreaker. The Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers are also in the mix and play each other in Week 12 too.

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Cleveland News & Notes

Cleveland may have looked worse than Baltimore offensively last week, and you can pin those struggles directly on quarterback Baker Mayfield. While you can certainly give him credit for fighting through the pain and gutting it out on the field, Mayfield’s injuries are clearly hampering the team at this point.

Thankfully for the Browns, they can still rely on the rushing of running back Nick Chubb (130 yards on 22 carries against the Lions) and their defense, which will be critical in this matchup vs the Ravens.

With Jackson recovering from his non-COVID-19 sickness, he may not be 100 percent and could be without wide receiver Marquise Brown (thigh) again if “Hollywood” cannot practice.

Baltimore News & Notes

On the bright side for Baltimore, the team continues to find a way to win despite missing players. The win over the Bears was the fifth straight for the Ravens in games decided by six points or less. Four of those were decided by three points or less, which is why it pays to have arguably the best kicker of all time on your side.

Tyler Huntley was solid in place of Jackson at Chicago with 219 yards on 26-of-36 passing, doing just enough to rally the offense when needed. Huntley did throw an interception, but he also ran the ball seven times for 40 yards and relied on tight end Mark Andrews (eight catches for 73 yards) as his top target. If Jackson and Brown are both back, the offense could be lethal again.

How Cleveland Will Cover

Defense will be the key to covering at Baltimore, as Cleveland cannot get into a shootout. The Browns are not built to light up the scoreboard with Mayfield ailing, so their best shot to beat the number is to continue riding Chubb and counting on their D to contain Jackson.

How Baltimore Will Cover

The Ravens rested Jackson for a reason, and his return should pay dividends in this spot. Having a healthy former MVP under center can go a long way toward revitalizing the offense, as they have scored 31 points or more in winning three of their last four at home.

Computer Pick: Ravens -4

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For more Week 12 NFL predictions, visit our NFL Computer Picks page.

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Shark Bites
  • Cleveland is 1-3 ATS in its last 4 games.
  • Baltimore is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 SNF games.
  • The OVER is 3-0 in Cleveland’s last 3 road games.