If you don’t have a dentist appointment today, I’ve got something for you that is much the same.
Bet on the Cleveland Browns.
It’s a lot like a trip to the dentist, if you are one of those people who do not look forward to an appointment with someone that is going to mess with you for a while and then leave you better off than you started.
Rooting for the Browns and then having to watch them is a lot like a root canal. Last week, we had the Browns over the Buffalo Bills, and were forced to lay three points for the privilege. In the end, we got away without a loss, as the Browns eked out a three point win, 19-16. But the process was painful
Perhaps the only reason we didn’t lose was because the Browns had a penalty against them when they were lining up to go for a fourth and goal situation from the two-yard line. First year head coach Freddie Kitchens figured this was the spot where the Browns could push the ball over the goal line, and I have no idea what evidence he was basing that assessment.
Was it the previous 11 plays the Browns ran from inside the five-yard line that day without punching the ball into the end zone? Still, even with that inept goal line play, somehow the Browns coach had in mind that the 12th try would have been the charm.
It wouldn’t have been, but he and the Browns got saved when a penalty against them pushed the ball back to the seven-yard line and from their, thankfully, he decided the field goal was the better option. They kicked the three pointer, which turned into the game winning margin.
When I was with the Raiders in the 1970’s, John Madden went out of his way not to leave points on the field. He told me, and others, that his first objective in a game was to score, and it didn’t matter if it was a field goal or touchdown. He contended that the first points were the toughest to get, and after he was on the scoreboard he could release the hounds.
Kitchens comes from a different school, and I don’t think his career as a head coach, which I’m betting will only be one season, will nearly match the success of Madden.
That doesn’t mean that tonight isn’t a spot sweet enough for even Cleveland to take advantage of with a win. The Steelers are coming off an emotionally draining victory over the Los Angeles Rams and working the short week with a road game. The victory over the Rams was accomplished by a solid defense performance, but that effort may have come against a defending NFC Champion that has suddenly lost the ability to move the ball.
The Rams scored the second most regular season points in their franchise history last season, 527, but have now gone 18 consecutive possessions without an offensive touchdown. Which means this, opponents are still inspired to meet the Rams once explosive offensive, and battling a unit that just isn’t as good as it had been the past two years.
How this can work to our advantage tonight, is that the Steelers may think they are just a little better than they really are, and the books are liking that the public is taking Pittsburgh in this primetime game. The point spread early in the week was the Steelers getting 2½ points, and despite that line drawing 65% of the action to the Steelers side, the books have raised the spread to where the Browns are now favored by three points.
I know, it doesn’t feel good having to bet on the Browns, a lot like a trip to the dentist, but I also think it will extract a point spread win.
Qoxhi Picks: Cleveland Browns (-3) over Pittsburgh Steelers