The Atlanta Falcons head into their next matchup against the Cleveland Browns as four point favorites. The Falcons are on the road, but the oddsmakers took a look at the way they played against Washington and how Cleveland has fared of late and figured this was probably a solid choice.
This has as much to do with the Browns as it does with the Falcons. Atlanta’s won three in a row and has one very impressive effort in that span, on the road against a Washington team that is arguably better (though not necessarily more talented) than this Browns team. But Cleveland, as talented as they genuinely are at the moment, are always enduring some bumpy roads.
The Browns have allowed 30-plus points in three of their last four games, and in the fourth game they allowed 26. They’re committed to running the ball and have done so effectively, but Baker Mayfield and his mostly middling collection of weapons have gone under 200 yards passing twice in the last three weeks, and the net result has been four straight losses. Their sole close one was against a struggling Tampa Bay team, while the other three (against Pittsburgh, Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers) were decided by a combined score of 108-62. They’re not playing great football right now.
Of course, at home and with a ferocious defense, they can still be a threat to this Falcons team. But this is another winnable game, and you can’t fault the oddsmakers for seeing that.