Cleveland Browns (0-2; 1-1 ATS; 0-2 O/U) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-2; 1-1 ATS; 1-1 O/U)
NFL Week Three: Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 1:00pm EST
Line: Cleveland Browns -1
The Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears will both aim for their first win of the season in an AFC battle Sunday afternoon from Lucas Oil Stadium. The Browns are coming off a 24-10 road loss to the Ravens, and the Colts led one slip away in a 16-13 home loss to the Cardinals. The Colts edged the Browns 25-24 in the previous meeting back in the 2014 season.
Kizer Throws Three Interceptions in Loss to Ravens
The Cleveland Browns were full of mistakes in their 24-10 road loss to the Ravens last week and dropped to 0-2 on the season as a result. DeShone Kizer only played half the game due to a migraine and struggled, completing only 15 of 31 passes for 182 yards with no TD’s and three interceptions. The 21-year old rookie quarterback was decent in week one but has already tossed four interceptions with only one TD. Isaiah Crowell was mediocre, rushing for only 37 yards, and averaged only 3.7 yards per carry. The 24-year old running back had a strong 2016 season but has yet to get going this season, amassing only 70 rushing yards in two games. Browns receiver Corey Coleman went down with a broken hand after making just one catch for one nine yards and will be out for several weeks. The 23-year old receiver is considered the Browns top receiver after a promising 2016 rookie season and his injury is a huge blow to the Cleveland passing game. The Browns are counting on a big season from Crowell especially due to the fact they are going with a rookie QB, however, he has not looked good through two games.
The Cleveland defense was subpar last week after a promising effort in week one against the Steelers. They conceded 136 rushing yards and allowed the Ravens to go 3 for 4 in the red zone. Derrick Kindred made three tackles for a loss and highly-touted rookie Jabrill Peppers made five tackles.
Colts Can’t Hold 4th Quarter Lead in Tough Loss
The Indianapolis Colts allowed a 13-3 fourth quarter lead to slip away in their tough 16-13 overtime home loss to the Cardinals last weekend. Jacoby Brissett could not get a whole lot going, connecting on only 20 of his 37 passes for 216 yards with no TD’s and one interception. The 23-year old quarterback got the start in place of Scott Tolzien who struggled last week. Brissett has yet to throw a touchdown in four career NFL games, however he does seem to be a better option than Scott Tolzien. The Colts running game was also stale, amassing only 76 yards on 29 carries. Veteran running back Frank Gore led the way with 46 yards after rushing for 42 yards in week one. Jack Doyle led all Colts’ receivers with eight catches for 79 yards in the loss. The 27-year old tight end had a breakout 2016 season that saw him collect 584 receiving yards and he has tallied 120 yards through two games this season. T.Y. Hilton only made four catches for 49 yards last week and he will not put up big numbers until Andrew Luck returns. The Colts offense is clearly going to flounder until star quarterback Andrew Luck returns to action. Luck won’t play again this week as he is still dealing with his shoulder injury.
The Colts defense was a bright spot in the loss, holding the Cardinals to just one touchdown after a disastrous performance in week one against the Rams. The Colts also made four sacks after only making one sack in their season opener.
The Cleveland Browns are:
- 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games against a team with a losing record.
- 0-8 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 250 passing yards in their previous game.
The Indianapolis Colts are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring fewer than 15 points in their previous game.
- 25-8 ATS in their last 33 games against a team with a losing record.
- 28-10 ATS in their last 38 games following a straight up loss.
I am siding with the Colts in this matchup. The Colts played surprisingly strong defense against the Cardinals last week, conceding only one touchdown, and they are facing a Browns team that has not looked good offensively. Isaiah Crowell has not been producing and rookie QB DeShone Kizer has also thrown four interceptions. Furthermore, Browns receiver Corey Coleman is out of the lineup and which puts a big damper on the Browns passing game. The Colts defensive play last week gives me confidence they can take this one at home against a weak Browns team.
Pick: Indianapolis Colts +1
Both the Colts and the Browns have yet to break through offensively through two games. The Colts have only scored a combined 22 points in two games and I don’t expect Jacoby Brissett to lead the Colts to big points, plus the under is 6-0 in the Colts last 6 home games. Also, DeShone Kizer was sloppy last week and Isaiah Crowell has been very quiet, so the Browns won’t score big points as well in what should be a low scoring contest, plus the under is 7-1 in the Browns last 8 games after a straight up loss.