Browns at Dolphins odds preview: Cleveland, Miami look for leg up in AFC playoff race

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Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (24) carries the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cleveland, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The Miami Dolphins will look to stay in the race for the AFC East as they play host to a Cleveland Browns team that is looking to continue to revive its season.

The Browns have been very competitive despite not having quarterback Deshaun Watson for the first eight weeks even as their record sits at 3-5. In four of the team’s five losses, the final score has been by a field goal or less, and they have led in the fourth quarter of three of those games. Nick Chubb has been fantastic for the Browns, as he is in second in the NFL in rushing yards (841 to Derrick Henry’s 870).

While the Browns run the ball, the Dolphins are going to put the ball in the air. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is on a record-setting pace as he is leading the NFL with 1,104 receiving yards, 237 more than second-place Justin Jefferson. The Dolphins have been an up-and-down team this season. They started out 3-0 before losing their next three games but have bounced back with three straight wins to be tied for second place in the AFC East with the Jets.

Caesars Sportsbook lists the Dolphins as a 3.5-point favorite with an over/under of 49.

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

Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins

Time/TV: p.m. ET Sunday, CBS

Point spread (from Caesars Sportsbook): Miami -3.5

Money line: Cleveland +158, Miami -190

Over/under: 49

Analysis: The Browns are getting big news when it comes to stopping the Dolphins’ great passing attack, as cornerback Denzel Ward is coming back after missing his last three games with concussion symptoms.

While he hasn’t been amazing, Cleveland quarterback Jacoby Brissett (1,862 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions) has done a solid job keeping the team in games. However, what was thought to be a great defense has ended up hurting the Browns, as it is tied for No. 25 in the NFL in points allowed (ironically with the Dolphins).

The Dolphins’ offense has been electric this season. Despite missing two games with concussions, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa ranks 14th in passing yards (1,962) but is first in yards per attempt (9.2) and tied for fifth in touchdowns (15). While Hill is the league leader in receiving yards, teammate Jaylen Waddle is fifth (812) and leads in yards per catch (17.3) among all receivers with at least 20 catches.

The Dolphins get a lot of their talk for the way they throw the ball, and it may be difficult for the Browns to keep up. Look for the Dolphins to take control early in this game, and to win this one easily.

Prediction: Dolphins 34, Browns 20

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