New England Patriots (3-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-4)
Tom Brady is back from his 4-game suspension and the Patriots are healthier than they have been all season around him, especially with Rob Gronkowski looking like he’s finally healthy enough to be a factor in the passing game, after largely blocking for a conservative offense the past two weeks with a bad hamstring and a rookie quarterback under center. The Patriots do not figure to be nearly as conservative with Brady back and he has plenty of weapons around him to torch a Cleveland defense that’s one of the worst in the entire league.
However, this just feels like a trap game from a bettor’s standpoint. It’s possible it takes Brady a week or so to get back into a rhythm and it’s possible that his teammates relax a little with him back and don’t play as well as they’ve been playing with him out. Cleveland is a weak opponent, but the Patriots are whopping 11 point favorites here on the road and everyone and their brother is betting on them looking to make some easy money in Tom’s return. This might be a huge win for the sportsbooks. I can’t bet anything on the Browns, especially since Bill Belichick is 44-24 ATS off of a loss since he took over as head coach of the Patriots, but I’d pick them if I had to.
New England Patriots 27 Cleveland Browns 17
Pick against the spread: Cleveland +11