Cleveland Browns (3-3) at Green Bay Packers (3-2)
The Packers are in a great situational trend spot this week, as non-divisional home favorites here against Cleveland before being divisional road favorites in Minnesota next week. Teams are 47-22 ATS in that spot since 2008. They have no distractions on the schedule and can be completely focused for an obviously inferior opponent. However, this line might be a little bit too here at -10.
The Packers are getting destroyed with injuries. Casey Hayward will make his season debut this week, which is a positive and Morgan Burnett seems to be fine in a few starts back from injury, but that’s about where the positives stop. Middle linebacker Brad Jones is probably out this week. Clay Matthews is out indefinitely and Nick Perry, who was having a great game picking up Matthews’ slack last week, is now also out indefinitely, which leaves them with a converted defensive lineman, a 6th round pick rookie, and an undrafted rookie at rush linebacker.
Offensively, tackles Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod remain out with injuries. Bulaga is out for the season and Sherrod probably won’t play at all this season either. Eddie Lacy is back, but talented slot receiver Randall Cobb was put on short-term injured reserve and James Jones suffered an injury of his own. He’ll probably play, but he could easily be limited. This isn’t a new thing for the Packers. In 2012, they were dead last in adjusted games lost and in 2010, when they won the Super Bowl, they were 30th.
The Browns, meanwhile, are obviously incompetent offensively with Brandon Weeden, but they have a very strong defense, allowing opponents to move the chains at a 72%, as opposed to 71% for their offense. They generally don’t get blown out, with 19 losses by more than a touchdown since the start of the 2010 season. That sounds like a lot, but consider they’ve lost 37 games total since the start of the 2010 season. More than half of their losses have come by a touchdown or less and only 12 have come by more than 10 points.
Of course, they played the Lions close last week and still lost by 14 because of a ridiculous pick six by Brandon Weeden. I wouldn’t be shocked if something like that happened again. The Packers are always especially dominant at home, going 26-3, outscoring opponents by 13.7 points per game and covering 21 out of 29 times. Aaron Rodgers is incredible at home and we could see the Packers blow out the Browns in a very Aaron Rodgers led effort. I wish the line was lower, but the Packers should be the right side. They’re also my survivor pick this week.
Green Bay Packers 27 Cleveland Browns 10 Survivor Pick
Pick against spread: Green Bay -10