NFL Week 16 Predictions: Cleveland Browns vs. Denver Broncos

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos
Sunday, 12/23/12, 4:05 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Denver -12
Current Betting Line:  Denver -11.5
Opening Total:  44.5
Current Total:  43.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

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The Denver Broncos are 4-1-1 ATS at home this season

Cleveland had its three-game win streak snapped in a 38-21 blowout loss to the Washington Redskins as four-point home favorites last week, while going OVER the toal for the first time in three contests.  The Browns could bounce back in facing the Broncos Sunday, considering they’ve won all three of their games versus AFC West opponents this year, while the UNDER is 3-0 in that situation.  Cleveland is 4-0 ATS in its last four games following a straight-up loss, which can’t be ignored when making your pro football picks this weekend.

The Browns are hoping that quarterback Brandon Weeden can finish the season in strong fashion, as he’s thrown for 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in starting every game this season since being selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft.  Cleveland will definitely try to feature running back Trent Richardson in the final two games, considering he’s just 103 rushing yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark.

Denver has won nine games in a row as it returns home after a two-game road trip, as it picked up a convincing 34-17 victory over the Baltimore Ravens as three-point road favorites last time out.  “Our goal is to try and get better every week,” stated Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.  The Broncos have really been led by a defense that’s allowing just 307.1 yards per game, which ranks fourth in the league.  The unit has excelled against running backs that fit Richardson’s style, limiting three of them to a combined 136 rushing yards this season.  Denver is 4-1-1 ATS at home this season, with the OVER going 4-2 in that situation.

The Broncos definitely made the right move in going after Manning and trading Tim Tebow, considering he’s thrown 31 touchdown passes and enters this week with a 103.5 passer rating.  Denver will try to put some pressure on Weeden, as it has gotten to opposing quarterbacks once every 13.1 pass plays this year, but Cleveland is allowing a sack every 20.1 pass plays.

Sports bettors will likely back the Browns due to their 5-2 ATS mark as a road underdog of 10.5 to 14 points, while the Broncos are 6-15-1 ATS at home versus teams with a losing road record.

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