Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-3)
The Browns are at the end of one of the easiest stretches of play any team in the league has this season, as they went to 0-6 Jacksonville, hosted 0-6 Oakland, and now host 1-6 Tampa Bay. However, next week they have to go to Cincinnati for Thursday Night Football. Teams are 85-105 ATS since 2002 as non-divisional favorites, including 33-56 ATS since 1989 as non-divisional home favorites of a touchdown or more before being divisional road underdogs of a field goal or more. On the opposite side of the coin, the Buccaneers host the Falcons up next, any easier game that is going to provide significantly less of a distraction for the Buccaneers than the Bengals’ game will for the Browns. Teams are 121-90 ATS since 2002 as non-divisional road underdogs before being divisional home favorites.
Combining the two, teams are 57-96 ATS since 2010 as home favorites before being road underdogs when their opponent will next be home favorites. Making matters even worse for the Browns is the fact that the game against the Bengals is a Thursday Night Game, which will make that game even more of a distraction. Favorites are 35-56 ATS since 2008 as favorites before a Thursday Night Game. I like the Buccaneers chances of keeping this one close and maybe even pulling an upset (like they did in Pittsburgh) against a team in a bad situation. The Buccaneers have actually only lost two games by more than a touchdown this season, as bad as their record is. As long as the line is a touchdown, it’s a big play on the Buccaneers.
Cleveland Browns 19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Pick against the spread: Tampa Bay +7