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NFL Free Pick: Philadelphia Eagles vs Cleveland Browns

Prediction Machine NFL Free Pick: Philadelphia Eagles vs Cleveland Browns

Philadelphia Eagles vs Cleveland Browns (PHI +3.5, O/U 47.5)

Carson Wentz and the Eagles hit the road to Cleveland in hopes of retaining their precarious lead in the NFC East with a 3-5-1 record on the season. Baker Mayfield and the Browns await in what will be Cleveland’s third straight home game following weather-marred outings against Las Vegas and Houston. Kevin Stefanski will attempt to get Cleveland back to its high-scoring ways, as the Browns offense entered Week 8’s matchup with the Raiders having scored 30 or more points in five of their previous six games.

Cleveland is currently listed as a 3.5-point favorite over the visiting Eagles, but our NFL model views things differently. Our model is predicting a much more favorable outcome for Philly, projecting a final score of 25.9-23.5 in favor of Doug Pederson’s squad. Therefore, we have a rather sizable edge on the Eagles considering we have them winning outright as 3.5-point underdogs.

Our model suggests an $89 wager on PHILADELPHIA +3.5 for an average $100 bettor.

Prediction Machine’s NFL model was 129-75 ATS (63.2%) for +26.85 units and 117-98 (54.4%) on O/Us for +21.04 units in the 2019-20 season, producing a total profit of $4,789. Head over to predictionmachine.com/pricing and sign up to receive every NFL prediction.

Why will Philadelphia cover the spread?

  • Baker Mayfield’s performance has dropped off a cliff under pressure throughout his career, and his numbers this season are especially bleak. Without being pressured, Mayfield has completed 125 of 184 attempts (67.9%) and produced 7.9 yards per attempt, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions for a 108.9 passer rating. When Mayfield has seen pressure, he’s 24 of 59 (40.7%) and has posted 4.2 YPA, one TD and four INTs alongside a 30.8 passer rating (data from PFF). The difference is clearly massive. The Eagles have been very successful generating pressure, having pressured QBs on 25.3 percent of opponent dropbacks (sixth-most) while recording 31 sacks (third-most). They’ve managed those numbers while blitzing just 23.6 percent of the time, which is the seventh-lowest rate in the league (Pro Football Reference).
  • The Browns’ offensive strength is running the football with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Stefanski’s offense has a 51 percent rushing play rate this season (third-highest in the NFL behind only New England and Baltimore) and has found plenty of success doing so. Their 5.1 yards per carry ranks third-best in the NFL. However, Philly has a very capable run defense that has allowed opponent running backs to average 3.43 yards per rush (third-lowest). Their overall yards per carry mark looks much worse thanks to 313 rushing yards on 7.11 yards per rush to opposing quarterbacks, but Mayfield is not a threat to exploit that weakness.
  • Philadelphia should be able to expose a Browns secondary that has been very poor. Their overall numbers look much better thanks to their wind-aided performances against the Raiders and Texans, which saw Derek Carr and Deshaun Watson combine to complete 35 of 59 attempts for 274 yards (5.07 YPA). To illustrate how much of an outlier those performances are, consider that the Rams defense leads the NFL with 5.7 yards per pass attempt allowed on the season. In the Browns’ other seven games, Cleveland has surrendered 7.52 yards per attempt to opposing quarterbacks, which would rank 27th in the NFL. Philadelphia’s passing attack has gotten healthier in recent weeks as Jalen Reagor, Dallas Goedert, Miles Sanders and Alshon Jeffery have all returned to the field.

How to bet the total in Eagles vs Browns:

Prediction Machine’s NFL model projects a final score of 25.9-23.5 in favor of the Eagles. With 49.4 projected points and an OVER/UNDER of 47.5, we have a slight edge on the OVER in this one. Our model suggests a $54 wager on OVER 47.5 for $100 average bettors.

Need-to-know stats for Eagles vs Browns:

  • 17/29 for 195.9 yards, 1.25 TDs, 1.03 INTs - Baker Mayfield projects to fall shy of 200 yards passing, a mark he’s failed to eclipse in six of nine starts. We’re expecting the Eagles to generate plenty of pressure to make Baker uncomfortable in the pocket, and we know he’s unlikely to exceed 30 pass attempts with Kevin Stefanski’s propensity to call running plays. We are projecting Baker to throw at least one touchdown pass, but he has a good chance to throw an interception as well. Don’t expect too much from the Browns signal-caller in this one.
  • 14 rushes, 71.3 yards, 0.8 TDs, 3 catches, 24.4 yards, 0.12 TDs - Miles Sanders projects for just under 100 total yards in Sunday’s matchup with the Browns but should still be involved plenty in Philly’s offensive game plan. The second-year Penn State product has double-digit touches in every game this season and has been consistently involved in the passing game, averaging five targets per game. Cleveland has been solid against opposing running backs, surrendering just 3.9 yards per carry (eighth-lowest) and 40 catches to the position (10th-fewest). We’re expecting Sanders’ talent to win out in this matchup, however, projecting him for 5.09 yards per carry and three catches.