After a week hiatus due to league wide uncertainty, we’re back with a look at one of the more intriguing holiday match-ups.
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Cleveland at Green Bay Over 45(-110):
We should be in for a treat Saturday afternoon. The Browns travel to Green Bay in a must win spot to keep their while Green Bay has a chance to move closer to the NFC’s top seed. We saw the side open Green Bay-8.5/-8, with a total ranging anywhere from 44 to 45. Early support arrived on Cleveland, driving this number down to 7 on Wednesday morning before we saw resistance. The total dropped and held at 44 throughout the week and has started to climb ever since speculation turned to confirmation regarding key Browns’ play makers.
Making the most of the match-up
When we break down this matchup there are clear advantages for both offenses. Despite injuries along the offensive line, the Packers remain in the Top 10 in both pass and run block win rate. They’ll face a Browns defensive line missing Takk McKinley (out for year), a hobbled Myles Garrett (groin), and DE Jadeveon Clowney still in the Covid-19 protocol’s. Never a great recipe for short week travel situations.
Packers Pounding the Rock
The Packers have shown an ability to run effectively with both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Cleveland’s defensive run stopping unit has been one of the weaker points of this stop unit throughout the season (PFF grades this as their poorest unit). Even when Green Bay attacks through the air, we’re looking at a Browns secondary missing S Troy Hill and CB Greg Newsome. This game also provides an opportunity for QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Davante Adams to break Packers TD records at home meaning the expectation is throw early and throw often.
On the Cleveland side of things, Baker Mayfield is back and Kevin Stefanski regains his play calling responsibilities. TE Austin Hooper tested out of the protocols on Wednesday but unfortunately JC Tretter is out and Jedrick Wills status remains in flux. Regardless the Browns will commit to leaning on Nick Chubb and D’Ernest Johnson against a rush defense that’s 31st in defensive rush success rate and 29th in adjusted line yards. Getting this run game going is critical to the the Browns play-action pass game. With Hooper and TE David Njoku both slotted to return, we could see a big advantage for the tight ends here as well. Green Bay grades out 32nd in defensive pass success rate against tight ends; shop around for props. The move from 44 to 45/45.5 was very sharp and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this creep up even higher before kick.
Las Vegas at Indianapolis-8.5
NY Giants at Chicago-4.5
Tampa Bay-12 at NY Jets
Carolina at New Orleans-7
Philadelphia-3 at Washington
Kansas City-4 at Cincinnati
Jacksonville+16 at New England
Miami at Tennessee-3
Denver at LA Chargers-6
Houston at San Francisco-15
Arizona at Dallas-2.5
Detroit at Seattle-9
LA Rams-3 at Baltimore
Minnesota at Green Bay-6.5
Cleveland at Pittsburgh-1