Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The Cleveland Browns used the offseason to make life better for QB Baker Mayfield
- 2019’s best rushing franchise, the Baltimore Ravens, actually improved their run game
- Browns and Ravens each won one game against the other last season
Browns vs Ravens Week 1 Odds
|Cleveland Browns||+8 (-110)|
|Baltimore Ravens||-8 (-110)|
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Browns vs Ravens Predictions and Picks
The 2020 Browns have an improved offensive line, even more weapons, and healthier targets for Baker Mayfield, so count on them to at least keep this first one with Ravens close, certainly within a touchdown.
Browns +8 (-110)
How to Watch Browns vs Ravens
|Browns vs Ravens Information|
|What||Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens|
|Where||M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MO|
|When||Sunday, September 13, 2020; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
The front office of the Cleveland Browns used the 2020 offseason to improve their offensive line, which didn’t protect QB Baker Mayfield well last season, plus they added Austin Hooper, a soft-handed tight end that makes the middle of the field even more dangerous.
It didn’t seem possible to improve the Baltimore Ravens’ run game, but they did just that this offseason by drafting OSU stud running back J.K. Dobbins to back up an already powerful rushing squad consisting of QB Lamar Jackson and RB’s Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards.
This first of two 2020 matchups between these two AFC rivals should set the tone nicely for what many experts are predicting to be the key divisional rivalry this season, a battle that could come down the final weeks and games of this unpredictable season.
Can the Newly Upgraded Browns O-Line Adequately Protect Mayfield?
One of the main reasons for Brown’s quarterback Baker Mayfield’s sophomore slump in 2019 was the inadequate protection he received from his offensive line, which never settled on its tackles, leaving the QB feeling vulnerable from both edges.
To fix that, Cleveland GM Andrew Berry snagged right tackle Jack Conklin during free agency, plus he drafted arguably the best tackle in this class, Alabama’s star Jedrick Wills, who some experts, including Browns future Hall of Fame, left tackle Joe Thomas, predict to have an immediate during his rookie season.
The only rub is that Wills was a right tackle in college and he is being asked to switch to the left side at the NFL level, protecting Mayfield’s critical blind side, so his success at this level will come down to whether his O-line coach Bill Callahan can help the young superstar learn how to play his position from the completely opposite side.
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Can the Ravens D Continue to Dominate?
Besides their stellar run game, one of the keys to the Baltimore Ravens’ success last season was their shut down defense, effective against both the run and the pass in 2019, the squad allowing opponents to score just 15 touchdowns all season, second best to only the Patriots.
A huge acquisition for the Ravens on defense was cornerback Marcus Peters, who came to the team in Week 7 and took over as leader of their secondary for the final ten games of the season, helping the Ravens become dominant on that side of the ball.
Baltimore’s offense can definitely score touchdowns, so it will be up to their defense to make sure that opponents don’t return the favor.
Browns Key Player: (QB) Baker Mayfield
Now in his third NFL season, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield finds himself having to prove he belongs in the league after turning in a sophomore season that left much to be desired.
After setting the NFL rookie record for touchdowns in 2018 with 27 of them, Mayfield spent most of 2019 scrambling for his life, the victim of poor pass protection from his offensive line, completing 317 passes for 3827 yards and 22 touchdowns with a mind-blowing 21 interceptions.
With an offensive-minded head coach in Kevin Stefanski game planning around his young QB superstar, it is hoped that Mayfield will continue to develop into the superstar the Browns front office and fans had hoped he could be.
Ravens Key Player: (QB) Lamar Jackson
The Ravens couldn’t be happier with their quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has essentially reinvented how the position is played.
Last season, Jackson proved his throwing arm was just as dangerous as his ability to run, completing 265 passes for 327 yards and 36 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions to his name.
The Ravens are a run-first offense, and Jackson’s ability to escape the pocket and elude tacklers makes him every bit as dangerous as his running backs.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager.