NFL Week 13: Browns vs. Titans odds, preview, and pick
The hype surrounding the Cleveland Browns was off the charts entering the 2019 season, and in true Cleveland Browns fashion, they ended the year awash in disappointment.
With far less fanfare this year – no elaborate hype videos to the theme of The Avengers – the Browns have forged an 8-3 record in the AFC North and are in a fight to make the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2002.
They will face a tough test on Sunday, as they take on the Tennessee Titans, who ran over the Indianapolis Colts last weekend to move into the top spot in the AFC South.
Sun, December 6 2020, 6:00 PM
Browns getting it done on the ground
The Browns made headlines with the surprise selection of quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick in 2018. But it’s the running game that is pushing Cleveland’s offense right now.
With Nick Chubb back in the lineup and Kareem Hunt as a strong option as the No. 2 back, the Browns’ run game now leads the league with 1,775 yards rushing.
Chubb missed five weeks of the season with a knee injury, but since his return, he’s been a nearly unstoppable force. Chubb has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in three straight games and his lowest total was 114 yards on 20 carries against Philadelphia in Week 11.
Things that just make sense: Nick Chubb in the end zone. #Browns— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) November 29, 2020
(via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/LyhqE19ppC
Against Jacksonville, Chubb ran wild for 144 yards on 19 carries, an average of 7.58 yards per carry. Take Chubb off the field for a break, and the Browns can mix Hunt into the offense, and he too can be a dynamic playmaker.
That’s a luxury for a Browns offense that has the third fewest passing yards in the league. The Titans will likely focus on limiting Cleveland’s run game, and forcing the ball into the hands of Mayfield, who is still working his way back from a difficult 2019 season in which he regressed badly.
All aboard the Derrick Henry Train
It’s December, the playoffs are approaching, so all aboard the Derrick Henry train! The Titans have certainly gotten back to that formula.
Now, to be honest, they never really got away from it. But from Weeks 5 through Week 10, the highest number of rushing attempts in a game for Henry was 22. In the last two weeks, however, the Titans have upped his workload.
Henry rushed 28 times against Baltimore in Week 11, and 27 times (for 178 yards and three touchdowns) against Indianapolis in Week 12.
Derrick Henry FIRST HALF stats:— Overtime (@overtime) November 29, 2020
140 YDS | 3 TD
He also surpassed 5,000 career yards 😤
The AFC South has become a two-horse race between the Titans and Colts, and few teams have shown any capabilities of slowing down or stopping Tennessee’s towering tank in the back field.
OK, Cleveland. You’re up.
The Browns have allowed 4.1 yards per carry this season, which is respectable. They don’t give up many rushing touchdowns either. Stopping Henry is a Herculean task, and that should allow Ryan Tannehill the opportunity to exploit a Cleveland defense that is without cornerback Denzel Ward due to injury.
Browns vs. Titans injury report
As noted, Browns cornerback Denzel Ward is out this weekend with a calf injury, which hurts Cleveland’s secondary. The good news is that the Browns activated defensive end Myles Garrett off the COVID-19 reserve list.
The Titans received good news on Friday as wide receiver A.J. Brown was back at practice. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday due to a hip injury. If he’s able to play Sunday, Tennessee will have its most dangerous target in the pass game. Tight end Jonnu Smith (knee) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, and is out for Week 13, according to reports.
The Cleveland Browns are 8-3 straight up this season, but have struggled with a 4-7 overall record against the spread. They are just 1-3 ATS on the road. The Over is 6-5 in Browns games this season, and 3-2 on the road.
Will the Titans cover the spread against the Browns in Week 13?
The Titans have an identical 8-3 record straight up, but are just 5-6 against the spread this season, and just 3-3 at home. The Over, however, has been mostly successful in Titans games this season, with an overall record of 8-2-1.
Score prediction: Titans 31, Browns 20
NFL picks: Titans -5.5, Under 53
Wager now on Week 13 of the 2020 NFL season at BetAmerica!