MetroBet previews Tennessee’s showdown at Cleveland set for this Sunday afternoon.
Titans at Browns (-5.5)
Moneyline: Titans +109, Browns -240
Betting Total: 45.5 points
The Browns hype train should be derailed right away at First Energy Stadium by the Titans on Sunday.
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Titans signal caller Marcus Mariota is poised to have his best year to date thanks to several improvements on offense. Tennessee brought in Rodger Saffold to bolster what’s now the NFL’s fourth-rated offensive line by Pro Football Focus. Veteran wide-out Adam Humphries and second-round draft selection A.J. Brown will give Mariota more perimeter options. Of course, the Titans will still be a run-first team with Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis in the backfield. They accounted for the seventh-most rushing yards per game last season.
Four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurrell Casey is among the many returning stalwarts on defense for Tennessee. They allowed the eighth-fewest yards per game a year ago. Safety Amani Hooker, a fourth-round pick that many considered a steal, has been playing very well in the preseason and could make life difficult for Baker Mayfield and company.
It’s easy to get excited about a promising young quarterback like Mayfield having options like Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry out wide, but none of that will matter if Cleveland’s offensive line can’t step up. Per Pro Football Focus, their unit is just 20th out of 32 teams. The Browns also appear to be a little thin behind their vaunted defensive line of Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson. Cornerback Denzel Ward can only do so much.
The play: Titans spread