Browns at Falcons odds preview: Cleveland looks for 3-1 start in Atlanta

FILE - Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) carries the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 22, 2022. Falcons coach Arthur Smith knows what to expect from a Cleveland Browns offense which revolves around Nick Chubb's powerful runs. Smith wants his Falcons' attack led by running back Cordarrelle Patterson to mash back. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

The Cleveland Browns return to the field after a nine-day break to take on the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday. 

Cleveland (2-1) got two touchdown passes from Jacoby Brissett in a 29-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in its last game on Sept. 22. Amari Cooper had seven catches for 101 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers and tight end David Njoku had nine catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. 

Atlanta (1-2) earned its first win of the season last Sunday, beating the Seattle Seahawks 27-23. Running back/all purpose talent Cordarelle Patterson had a massive game with 141 yards rushing and a touchdown. 

Caesars Sportsbook has listed the Browns as a 1-point favorite with an over/under of 48.5.

Let’s take a closer look at the odds and trends:

Cleveland Browns at Atlanta Falcons

Time/TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Browns -1

Money line: Browns -125; Falcons +105

Over/under: 48.5

Analysis: The Football Power Index from ESPN has this game a virtual toss-up with Atlanta having a 49.7% chance to win, Cleveland having a 49.6% chance to win and a 0.6% chance of a tie.

The Falcons are giving up 289 yards passing a game, one of the worst statistical pass defenses in the NFL. That doesn’t mean the Browns are going to go away from their successful balanced attack, but it’s difficult to see how the Falcons will slow down running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt while also figuring out a way to slow down Cooper. 

Atlanta has its own stars on offense. Rookie wide receiver Drake London has gotten off to a strong start and second-year tight end Kyle Pitts is starting to warm up to quarterback Marcus Mariota. Patterson does everything in between.

This should be a fun offensive battle, but the Browns are a little better on both sides of the ball. 

Prediction: Browns 31, Falcons 24


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