Part of the NFL culture is unfortunately tied to mocking “bad” teams. Even though the worst NFL team could whip the Clemson Tigers in 4 quarters, games between pro teams with losing records are often ridiculed as boring football played with no skill.
Yet sometimes those “boring” scrums can be the most fun for bettors. Thanks to confidence and game-management issues, losing NFL teams can often seem to be almost trying not to win. But when 2 winless squads meet, we know someone – at least barring a tie – has to prevail.
The 0-2 Indianapolis Colts are coming off a downer loss to Arizona in which QB Jacoby Brissett played admirably until OT, when he was picked off by Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu deep in Colts territory. Meanwhile, the 0-2 Cleveland Browns spent the off-season being patted on the back for several moves that could be seen as transformative. But the team is learning that what goes down on paper is not always what goes down on the field.
Point spread odds are even for the match-up in Indy. Who can post their first W of the season?
Who: Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts
When: Sunday, September 24th, 1 PM EST
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Lines: EVEN / O/U Total: (40.5)
The Browns are 1-5 in their last 6 games against teams with losing records, which sounds like one of those luck-o’-the-draw Las Vegas statistics until you realize that bad NFL clubs usually make the biggest cardinal sin they can make – losing games against weak teams that they are clearly capable of beating.
Cleveland’s offense was woeful in last weekend’s 24-10 road loss to the Ravens. QB DeShone Kizer was hampered with a migraine, and the much-ballyhooed new-look offensive line failed to block for Isaiah Crowell, who only gained 37 yards.
The defense isn’t the biggest concern for the Browns right now, but they surrendered 3 touchdowns on 4 Red Zone attempts by the Baltimore offense.
With Andrew Luck sidelined, this game will be a match-up of green QBs. Brissett has the better of the running back options to hand off to, with Frank Gore lining up behind him.
Last week’s loss to the Cardinals came despite an excellent defensive effort against Carson Palmer and the Big Red, but showed the type of anemic offense in the 4th quarter that could spell total doom for the season in Indy.
We’re picking Indianapolis to win in a speaker. Cleveland WR Corey Coleman broke his hand against the Ravens, which gives the struggling Kizer one less solid player to throw to. The Colts managed 4 sacks last weekend and will probably continue to pressure the QB in front of their home crowd, meaning that if a disastrous turnover happens, Kizer will commit it.
Pick Indy to prevail and send the Browns to 0-3.