Ravens at Browns
Respect... ♪♫ Just a little bit.
This week the Vegas handicappers are finally giving some respect to the Cleveland Browns as they again head back into the Dawg Pound, preparing to host the Baltimore Ravens. The line opened a few days ago at a surprisingly even +0/-0, a stark difference from where the Browns' performance was projected to be just a week ago.
Covering the spread by 9, (the Saints were favored by 7 last week), and doing it against a New Orleans team that was seen as an offensively explosive playoff contender, will command the sort of respect that's shown here now.
But there's a big difference between the handicappers and the general public – a difference that's vital to understanding how these lines work, and why they end up exactly where they are.
In one sense, the public disagrees with Vegas on this week's game in Cleveland. Since betting opened, 62% of the action has been wagered on the Ravens to cover the spread. This was more than likely exactly what Vegas anticipated. As such, at most sportsbooks, the line has since been adjusted to giving the Browns +2 more points. The move is intended to balance out the action and guarantee a profit for the sportsbooks.
For the most part, it usually works, and when it's done on a large enough scale where millions of dollars change hands on every game, the margins are pretty significant.
Regular sports gamblers are aware of this as well, but there's an inherent risk to every wager. Thankfully for the Browns, sports are unpredictable. As you may recall from last week's Dawgs By Wager, 65% of the action went in the Saints direction, and again, Vegas cashed in.
The public consensus wasn't the only thing to get it wrong last week: The Machines.
After having projected a low-scoring yet considerable 11-point victory for New Orleans over Cleveland, the Odds Shark handicapping pick engine was left fleeing with its tail between its legs. Will it make the same mistake twice?
That's up to the Browns and Ravens. But if last week is any indication of what to expect from the Browns this season, the computer is on pace to be embarrassed again. After crunching the numbers, it's predicting another low-scoring affair in favor of the visiting team, with the Ravens winning 21-16.
|Stat||Cleveland Browns||Baltimore Ravens|
|Point Spread (Money Line)||+2.0 (-115)||-2.0 (-105)|
|Consensus: Current Bets||38%||62%|
|Computer Predicted Score||16||21|
The over/under for the total amount of points scored in the game is set at 41.5, and despite another high o/u projection this week, 55% of the bettors are taking the over. And of course, The Computer once again has a lower total of only 36.5, not predicting many points from Baltimore nor Cleveland, even back at home.
After making his regular season debut last week, Johnny Manziel has found his way back into the player proposition bets at Bovada.lv. He's the only Browns player on there this early.
This time Bovada is asking: How many snaps will Johnny Manziel take Week 3?
They've placed the over/under for this at 1.5, which is essentially a will he or won't he come into the game at all proposition, because the likelihood that he comes into the game for just one snap and is pulled for the rest of the contest seems extremely slim.
This Manziel-inspired coinflip has a money line at -120.
Share your predictions for all the lines in the comments!
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