Texans -5 O/U 47.5
There is nothing else like a team that has a great performance in the national spotlight and is then overrated by bookmakers the next week. The Texans have been on a roll winning 8 straight but in doing so have not really impressed me. Their defense has been great, led by their defensive line but has faced the 3rd easiest schedule of opposing offenses so far. Their offense has been inconsistent but Deshaun Watson has improved as the season has gone on. They are facing a Browns team who is also on a roll but are a bit under the radar. After the Browns 2-5-1 start they fired head coach Hue Jackson and since have gone 2-1, winning their last 2 and only losing to the Chiefs. In that time their offensive efficiency has jumped form 31st to 26th. Their defense has been dominant all year and is ranked 8th after facing the toughest schedule of opposing offenses. This is a perfect spot to take the Browns here as I expect this to be a close game that comes down to the final possession.
The Browns have had the benefit of facing two inferior opponents in their last 2 games. Th Falcons defense is ranked last and the Bengals without AJ Green are a disaster. This will be a tough matchup for them but I expect them to be up for the challenge. Gregg Williams is a great defensive coach and very underrated. People forget that Gregg Williams was the defensive coordinator for the Saints that held Peyton Manning to 17 points in the Super Bowl. The Browns offense has also been much better with Freddie Kitchens as coordinator. Baker Mayfield has thrown 9 TDs in his last 3 games with Kitchens compared to 8 in the 6 games prior. This will be the best offense the Texans defense has seen since facing the Colts and allowing 34 points in a game that could have finished in a loss or tie for the Texans.
This is just a classic ‘fade the public’ situation. Backing the Texans has been profitable recently with them going 5-1 against the spread in their past 5 games. With their recent success against the spread and in primetime on Monday night we have an extremely inflated spread. I would have the Texans as a 2-2.5 point favorite for the game so the Browns getting 5 points is a lot of value. Not to mention the Texans are coming off a short week. The Browns are an easy pick for me.