Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The Ravens have proven they are among the NFL elite, while the Browns are trying to prove they belong in the league at all. Baltimore opened as 13-point favorites for Thursday Night NFL action.
The Baltimore Ravens are favored by nearly two touchdowns to secure their ninth straight win over the Cleveland Browns when they host their division rival this Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium.
But while the Ravens are 8-1 SU in their past nine games as a double-digit favorite, they are a bankroll-bleeding 1-8 ATS in those nine games.
The Ravens opened as 13-point favorites on the Week 4 NFL odds menu at most shops tracked by OddsShark.com .
Through three games this season, the Baltimore Ravens have certainly passed their tests. Despite a very tough early schedule facing Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and New England, the Ravens have a 2-1 straight up and ATS record and are averaging 32.7 points on offense while giving up only 22.3 points on defense.
Baltimore was on the wrong end of a late touchdown drive in a 24-23 loss to Philadelphia in Week 2, but on the right end of a last-second field goal in Sunday's 31-30 win over New England.
In most years, being in the same company as the New Orleans Saints would be a good thing. But here in 2012, Cleveland enters Week 4 as the only team other than the Saints to be winless through three games.
Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden are going through predictable growing pains as rookies, and the defense has taken a step backwards with star cornerback Joe Haden out on a four-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. Cleveland is 1-1-1 ATS.
Cleveland Browns fans have hated the Baltimore Ravens since their inception in 1996, when then-owner Art Modell deserted the city of Cleveland and moved the Browns to Baltimore.
Of late, Browns fans have had even more reason to hate the Ravens, as Baltimore has won eight straight games against Cleveland while going 6-2 ATS over that span.
Baltimore's winning streak isn't likely to come to an end this week. But with five of the last six games in this series going UNDER the total and three of the last four being decided by 10 points or less, 13 points seems like a lot of points in a division rivalry game.
On primetime, the Browns won't want to be embarrassed by their former team, and should be able to keep the game to within 10 points with their best effort.
PICK: Cleveland +13 (Get Twitter updates on injuries and line moves)