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Los Angeles Rams vs. Cleveland Browns Point Spread - Pick

Los Angeles Rams (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Cleveland Browns (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Week 3 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, September 22, 2019 at 8:20PM EST
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: LAR -2.5/CLE +2.5
Over/Under Total: 50.5

In a big Sunday Night matchup, the Los Angeles Rams come to FirstEnergy Stadium to take on the Cleveland Browns in week three. The Rams have looked good, opening the season with a road win at Carolina, followed by a conclusive home-win last week against the Saints, 27-9. Coming into town is a Browns team that was able to right the ship on MNF with a rousing 23-3 road-win at the Jets. We finally saw some of the moves the Browns made start to manifest and now they can begin to put the 43-13 hammering in week one to the Titans behind them.

The Browns really had some people scratching their heads after week one. With all the hype, it was bemusing to see them getting blown out—at home to the Titans no less. Now let's face it, beating the Jets who are already down to their third choice at QB isn't cause to start blowing the trumpets, but they looked infinitely better. Baker Mayfield was able to start putting his vast weaponry to good use, with Odell Beckham having a big day. They got a big assist from the defense, who was able to hold the Jets to 3 points after being exploited in giving up 43 points the previous week.

The Browns opened by pecking and prodding on MNF. RB Nick Chubb was getting some work. His TD run put the Browns up 13-0 and they never looked back. Mayfield did throw a pick, but looked good otherwise going for 325 yards through the air, including the lay of the game—an 89-yard TD toss-and-run to ODB. We're seeing some good things from rookie Damion Ratley, who had a few big catches on MNF. Duke Johnson made some plays and we saw an offense that looked a little closer to fulfilling their potential. At the same time, facing a Jets team that was imploding, a 23-point output is not great. They look for more this week, as they will need to keep pace with a high-powered Rams' offense.

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The big question for the purposes of this game is how well can the Browns' defense contain all the LA weaponry. Getting this side of the ball on the right track after their week one failings was a good sign on Monday. This is a group of top draft picks and high-priced free agent signings and this is the year where we're supposed to see some things form. Week one painted them in a bad light, but they turned up the intensity on MNF. Myles Garrett has been on fire and finally looks worthy of being the top pick. He had three sacks against the Jets. Up-front, Sheldon Richardson can help stop the run. And Denzel Ward had a much better day, as the highly-drafted corner will be put to the test this week.

Everything looks fairly in-order for the Rams. They had a close game on the road against Carolina, before holding the Saints to nine points in a rematch from last season's conference title game. Granted, Brees leaving the game with a thumb injury helped make things easier and the Rams should get a good home-test this week. They're the defending conference champions and through two weeks, there is no reason to perceive them differently.

The Rams' offense has a lot of the same faces from last season. Getting Cooper Kupp back this season has already paid off and one can tell how much Jared Goff likes working with him. He had 120 yards on Sunday, with Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks also getting work. Cooks reeled in a big 57-yarder in the game. Todd Gurley ran for a TD and Malcolm Brown had some useful carries on the day. Goff put up 283 yards and looks to feast against the Cleveland secondary this week, a group that will have a lot of different weapons to contain.

Against Carolina and a New Orleans team without Drew Brees, perhaps the Rams' defense hasn't been tested to the extent it will this week. They look pretty good. They are shutting down the run and also thriving against the opposing aerial attack. Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald (questionable) man the line, with Dexter Fowler and first-year Ram Clay Matthews get after the quarterback. John Johnson, III. and Eric Weddle are two safeties who can make a lot of plays. Marcus Peters is a difference-maker. There is a lot of playmaking ability on this side of the ball. And we'll see more as we get into the meat of the season if they can be a rigid defense that gives their offense enough room to do really big things this year.

This is a game that is a bit out of the LA Rams wheelhouse. They will be in front of a passionate throng of people, who will view a win this week as a coming-out-party of sorts for the long-beleaguered Browns. The Rams are on the road on a field in which they are unaccustomed, out of their conference to boot. But I still think there isn't a ton of value on the hyped Browns. Beating the Jets on the road in such a lopsided manner was nice. But it falls short of a signal that they have arrived. Going against one of the best teams in the league, we will see they still have a ways to go. I'll take the road-favorite.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Los Angeles Rams minus 2.5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Rams-Browns Sunday Night Football game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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