Come Thursday Night, National Football League fans can’t wait for another fun showdown to arrive between the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately for the two sides, they both suffered losses in Week 6 and they’re in dire need of a win in Week 7. We have our NFL TNF picks for Broncos vs. Browns in a battle that we think should feature plenty of points.
Cleveland is the favorite to take down Denver on Thursday
With this game being played at FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland is the favorite to take down Denver on Thursday when they end up facing off. For the Browns, the big question mark for them is at running back. With Nick Chubb missing some action due to injury, Kareem Hunt had stepped in to take over as the team’s starter. However, Hunt was injured in Week 6 and is headed to the IR.
As for Chubb, he’s also dealing with a calf injury which kept him out of Sunday’s loss going up against the Arizona Cardinals. With that said, head coach Kevin Stefanski has said that he’s not ready to rule out Chubb for the showdown with the Broncos, leaving the door open for the star quarterback to potentially make his way back onto the field in time for TNF.
He’ll be needed, as the Browns were dominated by the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6 and lost 37-14. The Cardinals are a perfect 6-0 on the year and made easy work of Cleveland. For the Broncos, they were taken down by the Las Vegas Raiders and Derek Carr on Sunday. Carr looked superb, throwing two touchdowns, with one of them going to speedster Henry Ruggs.
Per the Las Vegas sportsbooks, Cleveland indeed is the home favorite here with its -200 NFL odds. The Broncos are the underdogs, as they’ll head to the Browns field this week with +168 odds. With Baker Mayfield also battling a shoulder injury, Cleveland sure has some issues on its hands. With that said, Denver hasn’t looked the same in recent weeks. We’re going with the Browns as our pick. Check out our NFL betting sites to get a wager in.
This will prove to be a defensive battle between the two teams
With so much uncertainty regarding the offensive weapons for Cleveland and Denver, this will prove to be a defensive battle between the two teams on Thursday night. Mayfield has a dislocated shoulder in his non-throwing arm. Despite that kind of an injury, which would keep most of us in bed, Mayfield is expected to play through the pain and keep making plays for Cleveland.
However, this of course is going to have a negative impact on his ability to be at 100 percent for the offense. Denver’s front-seven will also be putting heavy pressure on him from start to finish. That’s always going to be the case when your unit features guys like Bradley Chubb and Von Miller. Should Denver’s defense look normal, that will be trouble for Mayfield.
On top of that, the Browns very well could be with their third-string running back for this contest, which will only complicate things even further. If Nick Chubb can play, then that will be big for Stefanski. However, with his status being up in the air, it’s concerning for Cleveland. They don’t want to rush the running back either and risk further injury, which could lead to him missing Week 7.
Meanwhile for Denver, can Teddy Bridgewater have a big game? He threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday against Las Vegas, but he also tossed three interceptions. He’s got to be smarter with the ball. In terms of the over-under, the over has -112 odds, while the under is set at -108. We really like the under here of 42.5 points. That’s our selection.
Look for Cleveland to enter halftime up by at least a touchdown
With so much pressure on Mayfield and the Browns for this one, look for Cleveland to enter halftime up by at least a touchdown against Denver. While we do think this will be a low-scoring affair, it will be imperative for the Browns to land the first punch against the Broncos. The last thing they’re going to want to do is to try and play from behind against them at home and in primetime.
While Mayfield is injured, he’s going to try and feed Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and others with consistency to open up play. With the ground game banged up, the aerial attack will need to be featured against the Denver secondary. Protection of Mayfield will of course be crucial for the offensive line. Will they be able to step up and answer the call?
In terms of the first-half spread, Cleveland has been set at -3 with -105 odds. We think they’ll cover that spread through the first 30 minutes of play and go into halftime up by a touchdown. Mayfield, despite his injury, is tough as nails and he’s a gamer. He won’t want to go to the locker room hearing boos from the crowd. Go with that first-half spread to be covered by the home team.
Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.