Cleveland Browns (0-8 SU, 2-6 ATS, 3-5 O/U) vs. Detroit Lions (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS, 5-3 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. EST
The Line: Detroit Lions -9.5. Total: 44.
The Cleveland Browns are halfway to an 0-16 season as they head into a road date with the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday afternoon. Cleveland hit the 0-8 mark with a loss to Minnesota last month before enjoying a bye in Week 9. The Lions are in the midst of a short week after beating Green Bay on Monday night.
Back at practice
If nothing else (and there is not much else to speak of given that they have zero wins), the Browns have received some welcome news at practice this week. Wide receiver Corey Coleman has been designated to return from injured reserve. On the other side of the ball, Cleveland saw the returns to practice on Monday of defensive backs Jabrill Peppers and Jason McCourty, defensive end Myles Garrett, and defensive tackles Larry Ogunjobi and Trevon Coley. All of the players were inactive in the Browns’ last game before their bye–a 33-16 loss to the Vikings in London. Peppers (toe) and McCourty (ankle) have missed the past two games with their respective injuries. Coley and Ogunjobi missed their first contests of the 2017 campaign when Cleveland paid a visit to London, while Garrett (concussion)–who leads the team with four sacks–was sidelined for the fifth time this year.
“We will see exactly where they are as we go throughout the week, but it was good to have everyone back out there and contributing,” head coach Hue Jackson assured. “It was good. It was a good first day to have everybody back.”
Halfway through this season, Lions’ receiver Marvin Jones Jr. has 33 catches for 515 yards and five touchdowns. All of those numbers are on pace to become career-highs for the sixth-year player out of California. They would also make him a 1,000-yard performer for the first time. Jones Jr. has taken his game to new heights in recent weeks, with 128 yards in a Week 8 loss to Pittsburgh plus 107 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions during Monday night’s 30-17 victory over Green Bay. In Detroit’s last three contests, quarterback Matthew Stafford has targeted Jones Jr. 37 times.
“Obviously, I want to be the guy that makes the plays–make all the plays I need to help this team,” Jones Jr. commented. “In our room, that’s what we all want to be, and we’re all doing that right now. It’s just great to be a part of it, and we just have more work to do.”
“I think it’s another year in the offense, another year in the system, another year with these teammates, coaches, and it’s a comfort level that he’s developing; that he’s developed,” fellow receiver T.J. Jones explained. “I think he came into this season feeling a lot different than being the new guy on the block, maybe having some weight on his shoulders wanting to prove himself.”
The Cleveland Browns are:
- 7-26-1 ATS in their last 34 overall
- 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 road games
- 6-25 ATS in their last 31 games following a loss
The Detroit Lions are:
- 7-0 ATS in their last seven games in November
- 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games after rushing for less than 90 yards in their previous game
- 4-1 Over in their last five home games
Practice?!?! We’re talkin’ about practice?!?! That is just about the only setting in which Cleveland has received any good news in 2017. Plenty of players returned, although it remains to be seen to what extent they will be effective in game action on Sunday. Speaking of games, the Browns have won zero of those this season. As for the Lions, they ended a three-game skid by hammering Green Bay last weekend. Stafford and Jones Jr. have a stellar connection going, and it is hard to see Cleveland slowing them down. The Browns are 7-26-1 ATS in their last 34 overall, 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 on the road, 6-25 ATS in their last 31 following a loss, 0-8 ATS in their last eight on fieldturf, 0-3-1 ATS in their last four following a bye week, and 2-12 ATS in their last 14 after allowing more than 350 yards of total offense in their previous outing. Detroit is 7-0 ATS in its last seven in November and 13-6 ATS in its last 19 after rushing for less than 90 yards in its previous outing. Count on those trends continuing.
Pick: Detroit Lions -9.5
Offense has not been the issue as Detroit has compiled a mediocre 4-4 record. The Lions have scored at least 24 points in three of their last four contest, including 38 in a recent loss to New Orleans. Cleveland may be getting back some bodies on defense, but that remains to be seen and they may not be 100 percent even if they do suit up. Cleveland is second to last in the NFL in total defense, better than only the winless 49ers. The over is 8-2 in the Browns’ last 10 on the road. It is also 4-1 in the Lions’ last five at home, 6-2 in their last eight after gaining more than 350 yards of total offense in their previous outing, and 4-0 in their last four after allowing less than 90 rushing yards in their previous outing. Additionally, the over is 4-1 the last five meetings between the two teams. Look for this one to go over the total.