Cleveland vs Miami: Week 12 NFL Odds and Prediction

Gamblers conditioned by the NFL’s dreary, unnecessary 2019 preseason were creating gold-rush markets on the Over/Under early in the regular season.

But is the Cleveland-Miami O/U market evidence that the syndrome is over, and that we’re back to the betting public making Las Vegas totals rise against reason?

Weather is expected to calm down and become milder in much of the Midwest and the Rust Belt beginning this Sunday. Maybe the Browns-Dolphins O/U is going up because Miami sucks, or because Cleveland’s QB likes to take chances, or because the wind might not blow as hard in Ohio as in Chicago. But for whatever reason, (46) seems like an awfully high number for a scrum that has the potential to turn sleepy, one way or another.

Who: Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns

When: Sunday, November 24th, 1 PM EST

Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH

Lines: MIA (+10.5) at CLE (-10.5) / O/U Total: (46)

Cleveland vs Miami: Handicapping the O/U Line

There’s a few potential stinkers in the midday lineup of Week 12 games. You can imagine the Cleveland vs Miami scrum turning-out boring in a bunch of different ways, and that’s not because both teams on the field are lousy.

The Browns are suddenly hot on defense and winning games, but suffered yet another player-discipline issue vs Pittsburgh when Myles Garrett swung a helmet at the noggin of a Steeler. Cleveland’s 1st-overall pick in the 2017 draft was suspended indefinitely for his actions, and now the Browns will have a huge hole to fill.

Maybe Freddie Kitchens can get a similar game from LB Joe Schobert, the former Wisconsin star who made 7 tackles including a sack and intercepted 2 Mason Rudolph passes. Kareem Hunt made his return to the NFL after a lengthy suspension and is bolstering Cleveland through its nascent win streak. Nick Chubb continues to be the workhorse back, however, and is already over 1000 yards on the campaign. Meanwhile, Hunt is further developing as a receiver and looming large on 3rd downs.

But what if Sunday turns into an Under (46) gambler’s dream, a snoozer for the 216? Baker Mayfield is still producing at a mediocre clip at best. The inconsistent youngster threw for just 193 yards in the victory last week, and his 76.8 QBR stands worst in the NFL among starting QB’s who haven’t missed action.

Mainstream pundits are busy shining Baker up again:

It’s hard to be patient during a Fantasy Football season. We always want immediate results, especially with a 13-week schedule in most leagues. But this week, your patience could pay off with two players who have been busts in the majority of leagues thus far — Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham. Both are ready for big games against the Dolphins. Mayfield has been building toward a big game already. He’s scored at least 21 Fantasy points in consecutive games prior to Week 12 in tough matchups against Buffalo and Pittsburgh, but this should be his best game to date.

The Dolphins have allowed at least 20 Fantasy points to seven of 10 quarterbacks this year. For the season, quarterbacks are averaging 25.6 Fantasy points per game against Miami, and I could see Mayfield finishing as a top-five quarterback in all leagues. For Beckham, he’s been frustrating all season. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 2 and has topped 75 receiving yards just three times all year. The Browns have tried to get him going of late with 22 targets in his past two games against the Bills and Steelers, and hopefully that continues against Miami. The Dolphins are No. 2 in the NFL with 16 touchdowns allowed to receivers, and I expect Beckham to go nuts this week. You should also get strong performances from Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry and Kareem Hunt this week, but they have been trustworthy Fantasy options. Mayfield and Beckham have been disappointments for most of the year, but they should reward your patience with a big game against Miami.

Miami will come in off a 37-20 loss at home to the Buffalo Bills, which had snapped a surprising 2-game winning streak for HC Brian Flores. The Dolphins have the worst overall running game seen in years, partially by design. In-season trades and neglect have decimated the unit and other positions on the club, and it’s actually amazing that Miami (+10.5) has posted wins at all. Miami scored all of its non-kicking points last week via WR Jakeem Grant. The seldom-used 5’7” 170-pound speedster returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown, and added a 7-yard rushing TD on an end-around.

Maybe he should take it easy for a few games…a trade could occur quickly if he scores too many points for comfort.

Prediction and O/U Pick

The rationale for an Under bet against the public in Cleveland is the mirror-image of what leads to a lot of Over outcomes – when a favored team with a crazy passing game starts opening things up out of anxiety. If the Browns get anxious at all on Sunday, coaches will mask Mayfield’s deficiencies by handing the ball off.

As for the Dolphins, the tanking club’s offense won’t go anywhere fast on the road.

Pick Under (46) for a winner.

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