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Dawgs By Wager: Browns at Titans - Odds and Prop Bets

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This time both public consensus and computers are on the Browns side! But is that such a good sign or a kiss of death?

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Browns at Titans

"Push!"

Neither side of a wager likes to hear that word, barring any sort of miraculous comeback situation that kept a bettor from losing a huge chunk of change.

At any rate, a push is exactly what our old notorious friend, the Computer, is predicting will happen when the Browns travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans this week. With the Machines calculating a victory for the home team of 17-16, the Browns push on their spread of +1.0.

However, it is worth noting that it's only a push at the current line, which is favoring the Titans by that single point. The spread actually opened earlier this week giving the Browns another point and a half, +2.5. At that previous line, it would have been the first time this season the Odds Shark computer predictions went on the Cleveland side.

Similarly, this is the first time this season that public consensus is in the Browns favor at this point in the week, with 57% of the action on them. And it's precisely why the line has moved the way it did.

Stat Cleveland Browns Tennessee Titans
Point Spread (Money Line) +1.0 (+105) -1.0 (-125)
Consensus: Current Bets 57% 43%
Computer Predicted Score 16 17

Is it the kiss of death, a bad omen, a jinx? At best, when betting on Browns games, the public consensus is only 0-2-1.

Worse yet, the Computer shares the same result, but has the disadvantage of clearly stating its exact predicted final score, a point on which the Cleveland offense has consistently embarrassed it on by outperforming that number every time.

Of course, especially considering what is about to be said is one of the Machine's primary selling points: it has no feelings. No biases, nor homerism. No preconceived notions about any team. As far as we are aware, it has not yet reached sentience. It is merely and literally a number crunch based on vast, real-world, advanced NFL statistics.

But the crunch has been wrong about the Browns' offense and appears to be making the same mistake again this week.

Performance of opponents, consensus, computer, and Browns against the spread:

Week Opponent Spread (Line) Consensus Computer Final Browns ATS
1 Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5 (-115) 64% 22-15 30-27 Cover +3.5
2 New Orleans Saints -7.0 (-105) 65% 26-15 24-26 Cover +9.0
3 Baltimore Ravens -2.0 (-105) 62% 21-16 23-21 Push
4 bye
5 Tennessee Titans -1.0 (-125) 43% 17-16

On a another point: Among sports betting, more specifically handicapping, in the NFL there is a general rule or acknowledgement that home teams are roughly given an automatic +3 points against the spread. Many people like to think of this as "home field advantage" being worth roughly 3 points at the NFL level.

As with most "general rules" as they pertain to gambling on sports, it's hardly a definitive be-all and end-all matter of fact. Sports handicapping is merely a game of estimation, attempting to predict not only the actual score of any given game, but also the public betting patterns on that specific game.

Just as has been stressed here each week, for Vegas, the money is made in the margins when it comes to this multi-billion-dollar sports gambling industry.

Meanwhile, as of the writing this article, Bovada.lv is no longer taking bets on the Browns/Titans game and its spread of +2/-2, respectively.

Prop Bets

A couple of Browns players have once again emerged among the proposition bets brought to us by Bovada.

The only surprising part is that neither of them are named Johnny Manziel.

In Bovada's Week 5 Special, we have new odds for the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Most of the names near the top are back again from odds given prior to the regular season. But two guys flying up the charts from the unknown, finally getting some recognition, are third-rounder Terrance West (12/1) and the undrafted "Crow" himself, Isaiah Crowell (9/1).

While both deserve their due, a lot of credit also goes to offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan for installing a very effective zone-blocking scheme that's turning these two young backs into stars.

NFL WEEK 5 SPECIAL - 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds
Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) WR 5/2
Brandin Cooks (NO) WR 3/1
Blake Bortles (JAC) QB 4/1
Teddy Bridgewater (MIN) QB 6/1
Sammy Watkins (BUF) WR 15/2
☞ Isaiah Crowell (CLE) RB 9/1
Bishop Sankey (TEN) RB 12/1
☞ Terrance West (CLE) RB 12/1
Jerick McKinnon (MIN) RB 20/1

Share your predictions for all the lines in the comments!

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