Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns
Sunday, 10/2/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV: CBS
Opening Point Spread: Cleveland Pick’em
Current Betting Line: Cleveland Pick’em
Opening Total: 37.5
Current Total: 38.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
The Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns both find themselves tied atop their respective divisions heading into Sunday’s AFC clash, and each of them has taken a similar road to this point. The Browns are trying for their best start in 10 years and will host a Titans team looking to move on after losing star wide receiver Kenny Britt for the season due to a knee injury.
Both teams lost their season openers but have rebounded to win their last two games. While the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions have garnered most of the headlines so far this year, either Cleveland or Tennessee will be 3-1 heading into Week 5.
The Browns (Pick’em, O/U 38.5) rallied last week for a 17-16 home win against Miami, as quarterback Colt McCoy connected with wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi on the game-winning 14-yard touchdown pass with 43 seconds remaining. McCoy finished with 210 yards passing but completed only 19 of 39 attempts. They played without starting running back Peyton Hillis, who missed the game after coming down with a case of strep throat. Hillis is expected to return, although he could still split carries with Montario Hardesty.
Cleveland has at least gotten some production out of its running game, with Hardesty stepping in and rushing for 67 yards on 14 carries against the Dolphins. The same can’t be said for the Titans, who have been a pass-happy offense with new QB Matt Hasselbeck calling the signals.
Tennessee RB Chris Johnson has yet to prove he is worthy of the $53 million extension he received after sitting out the preseason. Johnson has rushed for 98 yards combined in three games with the team averaging an NFL-worst 51.7 yards on the ground.
While the Titans have been able to rely on Hasselbeck’s arm offensively, he will be without his top weapon in Britt, who led the AFC in receiving through the first two games. He tore his ACL and MCL early on in a 17-14 home win over Denver and saw Nate Washington pick up the slack with eight catches for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Tennessee has won its last two games at home but has dropped six in a row on the road, including a season-opening 16-14 setback at Jacksonville. Ironically, the road team is 6-2 against the spread in the past eight meetings between the Browns and Titans.
However, most of the other trends seem to favor Cleveland. The Browns are 10-3 ATS in their past 13 games in the month of October, and Tennessee is 5-12 ATS in its last 17 games against teams with a winning record. The Titans are also just 3-8 ATS in their past 11 games on grass.
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