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Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans Point Spread - Pick

Cleveland Browns (0-5 SU, 1-4 ATS) vs. Houston Texans (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Week 6 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: CLE +10/HOU -10
Over/Under Total: 44.5

The Cleveland Browns come to NRG Stadium on Sunday to face the Houston Texans in a week 6 matchup. The Browns are still searching for their first win after an 0-5 start. On Sunday, they fell at home to the Jets, 17-14. While they are working on different things as they try to return to the ranks of the respectable, it's still upsetting that they have yet to hit the win-column. They hope to get their first victory of the season against a Houston Texans team coming off a tough home loss to the Chiefs on Sunday night, 42-34. They have alternated wins and losses every game this season and hope to see that pattern continue this week.

The Browns are bad—there's no way to sugar-coat it. It's just that when teams reach the depths that the Browns have sunk to, you can usually find good betting value. After all, the bookie has to make it extra juicy to get the general betting public to take a doormat team like the Browns. Despite that dynamic, the Browns have been death to bettors, covering a miserable 6 spreads in their last 31 games. We see some positive signs and promising performances from up-and-comers, but it hasn't materialized into any measurable results.

After going scoreless in the first half, the Browns gave DeShone Kizer the hook. The young rookie is a talent that can perhaps be developed, but found himself in over his head for the most part. After yet another pick and a scoreless half, the Browns put Kevin Hogan in there and the Stanford product wasn't bad, tossing two touchdowns and completing 16 of 19 passes for 194 yards in just a half of football. Based on that, you'd think he would get the nod for this game. Like Kizer, he is also useful with his legs. They're going to need more out of RB Isaiah Crowell and all this hype about their O-line hasn't really resulted in springing a run-game, though they kept defenders out of the pocket on Sunday. Aerially, they got a good game from Ricardo Louis, while Duke Johnson and promising rookie TE David Njoku each caught TD passes.

The Browns' defense hasn't been that bad, considering how often they are betrayed by events on the other side of the ball. They have some interesting youngsters who could turn this unit around now and especially in coming seasons with added maturity. While they had to wait until last week to get first overall pick Myles Garrett in the mix, he paid off big against the Jets with two QB sacks in his first game, including a sack on his first play. Still, he seemed to be bothered by a troublesome ankle. Another rookie, safety Jabrill Peppers, has been decent. Adding CB Jason McCourty to the mix has also been helpful the secondary. The line has been robust against the run and could get better with Garrett seeing time up front. In other words, the Browns are doing things the right way, building this team conscientiously. Alas, a lack of overall offensive playmaking continues to be their Achilles heel.


The Texans really need to win this one, hosting a winless Cleveland team with a chance to even their mark at 3-3. One shouldn't be too critical of their loss/non-cover against the Chiefs at home on Sunday night. The Chiefs took a 16-0 lead and the Texans worked their way back into the game by the 4th quarter when Deshaun Watson hit WR Will Fuller from 48 yards out to make it 26-20. The Chiefs answered on their next drive and a punt return for a TD sewed it up. Still, the Chiefs are awfully good and there were some good signs upon which the Texans can build.

Deshaun Watson has really shined in recent weeks. On Sunday, he threw five touchdown passes, giving him 9 in his last two games. He connected twice with Fuller for scores, while DeAndre Hopkins caught three TD passes. Lamar Miller was effective with 74 yards on the ground, with D'Onta Foreman chipping in, as well. Watson is also pretty nifty when forced to spring a run. This is no longer the offense that just holds pat while the defense makes something happen. They can take the initiative now and go for the gusto.

Unfortunately for the Texans, the prognosis for the defense isn't as rosy. It was an emotional hit on the team and fans to see JJ Watt go down with a broken leg. A leader of the defense, injuries threaten to derail his career. Granted, they have a deep cast of difference-makers on defense who are a big part of Houston winning their division the last two seasons. But health is a problem. Brian Cushing is already out with a suspension and CB Kevin Johnson is already out for extended time. Whitney Mercillus suffered a chest injury on Sunday and is also noe lost for the season. Safety Corey Moore suffered a concussion. That's a lot of manpower either out of commission or compromised. There are still guys on this side of the ball who can make a difference. They get good corner play from Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph, while Jadaveon Clowney keeps getting better. We'll just have to see what they can come up with moving forward with a lot of missing pieces.

The Browns are hardly a reliable commodity, but they can keep games somewhat close. This might not be the worst spot for them. QB Kevin Hogan has a lot to prove if he is in fact the starter. And Houston might be waning with their defense is a bit of tatters heading into week 6. But the Texans' offense could thrive. In fact, I see both offenses having success in this one. I see the Browns being in a good spot for a cover this week and while we've been bitten thinking that recently, let's give it another whirl.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Cleveland Browns plus 10 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Cleveland vs. Houston game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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