A pair of AFC teams will try to get back in the win column on Sunday, when the Buffalo Bills host the Cleveland Browns. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Highmark Stadium and will be broadcast on CBS.
The Bills (6-3) were viewed by many as the best team in the league but have dropped back-to-back games. They suffered a 20-17 loss to the New York Jets before dropping a 33-30 decision in overtime against the Minnesota Vikings last weekend. If the season ended today, Buffalo would be the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs.
Cleveland is well outside the postseason hunt right now, carrying a 3-6 record into this week’s road test. The Browns suffered a 39-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in their first game since their bye week, and now they have another tough test against an AFC East foe.
According to NFLweather.com, there is expected to be 2-5 inches of snow in Buffalo on Sunday. The current radar projects the kickoff temperature to be 24 degrees. If the forecast holds, it will be interesting to see which team has the upper hand in those conditions.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Bills as an 8-point favorite with an over/under of 42.5.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills
Time/TV: 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS
Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Bills -8
Money line: Browns +300/Bills -385
Analysis: Sunday seems like a good time for the Bills to bounce back and end this brief skid, but will they cover this big of a number? The market has been a bit high on this team all year, which has led to a 4-4-1 against the spread record for Buffalo. The Bills have failed to cover the number in three consecutive games.
The problem is the Browns are a hard team to back right now from a betting perspective. They are 4-5 against the spread and were blown out as a 3.5-point underdog against the Dolphins last week. Cleveland has covered the number in just two of its last six outings.
Josh Allen’s health was a major storyline ahead of last week’s matchup with the Vikings, though he ultimately started and played the duration of the game. Allen is in a bit of a funk right now, throwing three touchdowns and six interceptions over his last three games. Until he gets back on track, it is difficult to lay this big of a number with the Bills.
The Browns probably won’t have a chance to win this game, but they should cover the spread from start to finish. Especially with Mother Nature likely limiting offensive production on Sunday.
Prediction: Bills 23, Browns 17