Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season kicks off Thursday night when Cleveland plays host to Denver in an AFC showdown. If history tells us anything, bettors should be investing in the Broncos. Denver has beaten Cleveland 12 of the last 13 times these two teams have met dating back to 1991.
Bettors witnessed a significant move in this line on Wednesday following the news that Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield would miss the game due to his shoulder injury. Oddsmakers immediately dropped the Browns from 3.5-point home favorites through the prime number of three to a demand of only 2.5-points at SI Sportsbook. In total, the spread has dropped 3.5-points from its opener of Denver as 6-point underdogs.
Case Keenum will replace Baker Mayfield under center against a Denver defense allowing 229.2 passing yards per game (11th) and the sixth-fewest passing touchdowns (7) through six games. After starting the season 3-1 Straight Up and Against The Spread, the Browns have struggled of late posting a 0-2 SU and ATS mark following losses to the Chargers and Cardinals.
The Broncos, who started off the season 3-0 SU and ATS, have also cooled off, going 0-3 in both categories since Week 4. In their first six games, the Broncos have been favored, however for the first time this season Denver now finds themselves in the role of underdogs. Denver was being overvalued by oddsmakers after wins over the Giants, Jaguars and Jets who are a combined 3-14 this season. In their three consecutive losses against the Ravens, Steelers and Raiders who are a combined 12-6, they were outscored 84-50.
Denver Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Trends and Info
- Spread: Denver Broncos +2.5 (-110) | Cleveland Browns -2.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Denver (+105) | Cleveland (-125)
- Total: 41– Over (-110) | Under 41 (-110)
- Public (Spread) Betting Percentages: CLE 38% | DEN 62%
- Game Info: Thursday October 21, 2021 8:20 pm EST | NFL Network
As previously alluded, the line has dropped since its opening in favor of Cleveland as a 6-point home favorite over Denver at SI Sportsbook to now displaying the Broncos as only 2.5-point road underdogs. The total, which opened at 44, has begun to see significant action to the under, dropping the line down to 41.
Browns Player Prop Info
The Broncos (3-3 SU; 3-3 ATS), who have allowed the fourth fewest points per game this season (18.3), will now face a Browns offensive attack led by a backup quarterback this is also devoid of both Nick Chubb (calf) and Kareem Hunt (knee). The star running backs have been instrumental to Cleveland’s success this season leading the way to the NFL’s top ranked rushing attack at 168.5 yards per game on the ground.
On a short week, the Browns will be rolling out an offensive backfield of D'Ernest Johnson and Demetric Felton facing a Denver defense that has allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game (85.5). Johnson, who is expected to shoulder the workload on Thursday night, has a rushing yardage proposition market of 59.5. The Browns passing attack could also be without starting wideouts Odell Beckham (shoulder) and Jarvis Landry (knee).
Broncos Player Prop Info
On the other side of the ball, the Broncos possess solid wideout production from Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick. Teddy Bridgewater, who has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of six games, has completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 1,514 yards and 10 touchdowns. The veteran has had ball security issues over the past two games throwing four interceptions after not turning the ball over in the first four games. Bridgewater will now be facing a Browns defense that has surrendered eight passing touchdowns over the last two games to Kyler Murray (4) and Justin Herbert (4).
Oddsmakers are projecting that Sutton will lead the game in receiving yards as SI Sportsbook has his receiving yard betting market set at 64.5. My projections have Sutton, who has gone over this posted number in three of six games this season, surpassing his betting proposition number on Thursday night. In his last two games, the fourth-year wideout has led the club with 25 targets resulting in 15 receptions, 214 receiving yards and two touchdowns. On the field for over 88% of the snaps the past two weeks, fantasy managers should be inserting Sutton into all their lineups in Week 7.
In addition, tight end Noah Fant has hauled in 18 receptions for 163 yards and two scores in the last three weeks and was on the field for 93% of the snaps over that span, Fant is averaging 6 receptions per game off of 8.3 targets. That kind of production results in strong value backing over 3.5 receptions currently being offered on SI Sportsbook.
The Broncos also have reliable options in the run game in veteran Melvin Gordon as well as rookie Javonte Williams, who has a team-high three rushing touchdowns. Williams is averaging 6.4 yards per carry, has a rushing yardage projection of 47.5 at SI Sportsbook. The former North Carolina standout has gone over the posted demand in four of six games. I would also look at his reception total of 2.5 at over odds of +145 thanks to his recent production in the passing game. Williams has become a solid check down option for Bridgewater having hauled in three-plus receptions in four consecutive games. In addition, Gordan has multiple receptions in five of six games making his over 1.5 receptions market very intriguing.
Frankie's Thursday Night Football Betting Advice
The Browns will be missing Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt as well as possibly Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. Despite being at home in front of the ‘Dawg Pound’, all the injuries may simply prove to be too much to overcome. Case Kennum, a 10-year veteran, has a career starting record of 28-36 in the NFL, but we need to note he was 12-4 as a starter with the Vikings under Kevin Stefanksi in 2017.
Some of the best bets you can make in sports wagering are the ones you don't make. This game seems too easy to bet the Broncos with over 90% of the offensive production this season for the Browns likely to be in street clothes. We know the old adage about when something appears to be too easy. Instead, lets focus on some player proposition wagers that offer some value.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Broncos: Over 1.5 Receptions
Courtland Sutton, WR Broncos: Over 64.5 Receiving Yards
Noah Fant, TE Broncos: Over 3.5 Receptions
- In the last three games, Denver has allowed 28 points per game
- Cleveland has allowed eight passing touchdowns over its last two games
- Denver is 12-1 in last 13 games against Cleveland
2021 SI Betting Monday Night Football: 3-3 ATS / Props 5-4 +1.95 units
2021 SI Betting NFL Football YTD: 11-11 ATS & Props +1.35 Units
2020 SI Betting NFL Football: 72-58-1 ATS (55%)
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help:
Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.