NFL Preview – Cleveland Browns @ St. Louis Rams

NFL Preview – Cleveland Browns @ St. Louis Rams

NFL Preview – Cleveland Browns @ St. Louis Rams

The halfway point of the NFL season is swiftly approaching next week and it’s in this point of the season, week seven, where teams begin upping their quality of play in order to challenge for a coveted playoff place. Because of this, games will start becoming really competitive and great to watch. The first tilt of week seven sees an NFC West team fighting for their life against a live team from the AFC North who are surprising a few people. The St. Louis Rams welcome the Cleveland Browns to Missouri state.

The disastrous St. Louis Rams defence are playing to their ability, but as good as they are, their offence aren’t giving them the support they need, because of this, we think the lively Cleveland Browns can cover the +6.5 spread at odds of 23/25 with 888 Sport. Click here or the banner below to get ‘Treble the Odds’ with your first bet!

The NFC West is always one of the most lively division in Football. That is so much more the case this season with three teams all within the hunt of playoff contention. With the Seattle Seahawks suffering from a hangover of preseason issues which saw them drop their quality of play, the Arizona Cardinals and the Rams are now really in the mix to win the division. The Rams go into week seven with a losing record at 2-3, anchoring the 3rd spot in the NFC West but can take 2nd with a win. They dropped following the Seattle Seahawks victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the Thursday Night NFC West battle.

Nick Foles who is embarking on his first season with the Rams following the offseason trade of Foles and former Quarterback, Sam Bradford, has had mixed luck so far, posting six touchdowns and five interception. He is only completing 57% of his attempted passes. The starlet of this offence this season has been rookie Running Back Todd Gurley. He started the season in week three after being drafted 10th overall in the draft whilst injured. Despite only playing three games, he has amassed over 300 yards on the ground already. Tavon Austin has been the surprise package of this receiving corp, with only 16 receptions for just over 100 yards, he has three touchdowns. The defence are allowing 22 points per game and 349 yards per game on average. They’ve managed 19 sacks, five interceptions and six fumble recoveries.

After a mediocre draft which largely didn’t address the gaps the team needed to fill, the signing of 13 year professional and 36 year old Quarterback, Josh McCown, who has never had top level success or been considered a better QB, and sitting in a division with three playoff teams in the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, another bad year was on the cards for the Browns. Despite currently being 2-4, the Browns have raised a few eyebrows with how lively they’ve been in games. This is especially true after coming off a week six overtime loss to Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos where it really looked like they had set up to win. They are currently in third spot in the AFC North, still capable of mounting a playoff challenge.

The Browns have been opting to start McCown over Johnny Manziel and the gamble has paid off. McCown has led this team like a true veteran, throwing eight touchdown passes, three interceptions, whilst completing 64% percent of his attempted passes. Isaiah Crowell has been the runner for the Browns this season, running for 272 yards and one touchdown. McCown has found a connection with Travis Benjamin in the air, catching 31 balls for 4 touchdowns. McCown has also surprisingly made Gary Barnidge statistically the second best Tight End in the NFL. Barnidge has been making crucial plays this year, catch 27 balls for five touchdowns. The Browns defence has allowed 26 points per game and 407 yards per game on average this season. They have 10 Quarterback sacks, four interceptions and five fumble recoveries.

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The spread in this game has the St. Louis Rams favourites to win by a touchdown and PAT, getting -6.5 on them. In their last eight games, the Rams have covered the spread only twice. At home, they are 4-11 against the spread versus a team with a losing road record. The Browns are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games away from Cleveland. They are also 4-0 against the spread versus teams with a losing record this season.

Nick Foles has come under fire this season since taking over this season and the stats don’t exactly help his case. The Rams offence ranks 31st in the NFL in average points scored per game with 16.8 and they are ranked 32nd in the NFL in average yards per game with 297. Whilst the stats are bad, they have an elite defence with a dastardly front seven to support them. This front seven will take on a Browns offensive line which has allowed far too much penetration to help out the great play from McCown and the Browns defence hasn’t helped either. They probably would have a winning record if the defence wasn’t so leaky. I really think this game will come down to which defence outduels the other. For that reason, it’s hard to back against the Rams who have one of the best defences in the league, however I think it will be close. I’m happy to take the six and a half points you’re getting with the Browns in this tilt, so I think the St. Louis Rams win narrowly.

Dan Glozier.

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