Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns: 2022 Week 12 NFL Pick

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) at Cleveland Browns (3-7)

Typically significant road favorites cover at a high rate after a bye week, covering the spread 63.0% of the time as favorites of more than a field goal. At first glance, that would seem to apply to this game, with the Buccaneers favored by 3.5 points, but I don’t think the Buccaneers deserve to be favored by this much. The Browns are just 3-7, but four of their seven losses have come by three points or fewer, which would cover this spread, meaning they would have covered this spread in seven of their ten games this season, including four of their five home games.

Given that, this line seems too high. The Buccaneers have been better in recent weeks and they’re better overall than their 5-5 record suggests, ranking 10th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about two points above average, but this isn’t the same Buccaneers team that we’ve seen in the past couple years, so they shouldn’t be favored by more than a field goal on the road against a competent team that is regularly competitive even in their losses.

If the Buccaneers weren’t coming off of a bye, the Browns would be my Pick of the Week, but, even with the Buccaneers being well-rested, we’re getting enough line value with the Browns for them to be worth a big bet, as my calculated line has this as a pick ‘em. The money line at +150 is also worth a bet, as the Browns should be considered no worse than 50/50 to win this game straight up. Even if they don’t pull the upset, about 1 in 4 games are decided by three points or fewer, so we have a good cushion.

Cleveland Browns 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23 Upset Pick +150

Pick against the spread: Cleveland +3.5

Confidence: High

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