Week 3 NFL Against the Spread Picks: Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns
Sunday, 9/23/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Buffalo -2.5
Current Betting Line:  Buffalo -3
Opening Total:  43.5
Current Total:  44.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Cleveland Browns have lost both of their first two games of the 2012 NFL season by a single score

Buffalo evened its record after two weeks with a resounding 35-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs as three-point home favorites, while the team has gone OVER the total in both contests this season.  The Bills have been led by backup running back C.J. Spiller, who leads the NFL in rushing with 292 yards, as he’s taken over for the injured Fred Jackson.  Head coach Chan Gailey has been forced to move from a ‘pass to set up the run’ attack due to the early success of the ground game.  Buffalo is 4-1 ATS versus AFC North opponents the last two-plus years, which is something to consider when looking over the Week 3 pro football odds.

The Bills were able to get after the quarterback in Week 2, recording five sacks, which came just a week after failing to record one in a 48-28 loss to the New York Jets as three-point road underdogs.  Buffalo earned a 13-6 home victory in the most recent meeting in this series in 2010, as it limited Cleveland to just 187 total yards.  Defensively, the team may have allowed 301 passing yards last week, but 144 of that came after the squad opened a 32-point lead.

Cleveland has yet to land in the win column this season, but both setbacks were by a single score to the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.  The Browns are starting to establish the running game with former Alabama Crimson Tide star Trent Richardson, as he gained 109 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in a 34-27 loss to the Bengals as seven-point road underdogs.  “We did a good job,” commented Richardson this week.  “I think we can be even better.”  Cleveland is 5-11 ATS at home the last two-plus seasons.

The Browns have tallied eight sacks in the first two weeks of the season, but will be facing an offensive front that has yet to allow one during the 2012 campaign.  On the other side of the ball, Cleveland is hoping that first-year quarterback Brandon Weeden can build off his second career start, as he threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns after a terrible debut.

Sports bettors will likely back the Browns due to their 5-0-1 ATS mark following a straight-up loss, while the Bills are 1-6-1 ATS on the road.

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