The Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns have long been considered franchises in the NFL that are cursed for eternity. With both teams taking the field against one another in Week 11, the Lions are winless with a record of 0-8-1, having forced a tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10.
Amid all of their injuries and COVID-19 issues, the Browns are 5-5 on the season. Cleveland’s latest loss came against the New England Patriots in Week 10, which ended with a score of 45-7.
Detroit is seeking their first win of the Dan Campbell era, while Cleveland is trying to position itself for a spot in the playoffs come January. The upcoming tilt between the Lions and the Browns will not be a game that people have circled on their calendars, but it could become an intriguing contest.
Continue reading below to see my Lions vs. Browns predictions, along with my favorite bets.
Please note that all odds are current as of 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 19.
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Lions vs Browns Prediction
Even though the Lions have yet to secure a win this season, you can tell that they compete under Campbell. Detroit has had some games not bounce its way, including close losses to the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens and last week’s tie with the Steelers.
Despite the Lions showing signs of being competitive at times, it’s tough to trust them in any setting due to Jared Goff being under center. However, Goff is an efficient quarterback when everything is perfect around him, whether it be a clean pocket or a talented group of weapons.
While the Lions do have D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson, they lack firepower on offense. And with the Browns having a defense that can create pressure with Myles Garrett, there could be plenty of ugly moments for Detroit on Sunday.
The defense of the Lions isn’t much better than the offense, as evidenced by them surrendering 44 points to a mediocre Philadelphia Eagles team in Week 9. The bad news for Detroit is that Cleveland is expected to get Nick Chubb back this week after he missed the team’s past game due to COVID-19.
Also, this seems to be a battle of strength against weakness, with the Lions boasting the 25th ranked run defense in DVOA and facing the league’s best run offense in DVOA in the Browns. However, even if Chubb doesn’t suit up, D’Ernest Johnson has shown he’s capable of being effective on the ground.
After having a disappointing outing on the road in New England, this is a perfect chance for Baker Mayfield and Cleveland to bounce back at home.
Prediction: Browns 34, Lions 17
Lions vs Browns Best Bets
Skyler Carlin 2021 NFL Betting Record: 3-9-0
Best Bet: Browns -11.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
This will be a week where people side with the Lions to cover the spread, especially with the Browns getting blown out by the Patriots in Week 10. Detroit has covered the spread in five of their nine games this season, with them having a 3-2 record against the spread as the road team.
While rooting for the Lions to get their first win is fun, this seems like a terrible matchup for Detroit. The Browns are a run-heavy team, and the Lions possess one of the worst run defenses in the league.
Cleveland will break multiple runs in this game that will allow them to seize control of the contest. Mayfield will do enough with his arm to help the Browns maintain a lead on Sunday, making this our NFL bet of the day.
On the other side of the ball, we’re not sure that Goff is going to play as he’s missed practice this week with an oblique injury. If it’s Goff or backup Tim Boyle, Detroit’s quarterback could be in for a multiple turnover game with Garrett coming off of the edge. Cleveland also has a secondary with Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome, John Johnson, and Grant Delpit that can make plays on the ball.
Let’s not get it twisted. While the Lions did tie the Steelers this past week, Ben Roethlisberger was out, T.J. Watt left the game early, and it was pouring down rain in what became an unwatchable game of football.
After facing a Bill Belichick team that always finds ways to make life difficult on offense, the Browns are positioned perfectly to get back to who they are. And that includes pounding the football with either Chubb or Johnson, while Mayfield is efficient through the air when he needs to be.
Best Bet: Over 43.5 Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
The upcoming showdown between the Lions and the Browns is projected to be one of the lowest-scoring games of Week 11, according to our NFL gameday odds. It’s for a good reason, as Detroit produces the third-fewest points per game (16.7) in the NFL with an offense that doesn’t have much to work with.
For the Browns, they are a middle-of-the-pack team in scoring, posting 23.1 points per game, good enough for 18th in the NFL. Some people may be wary of playing the over on Sunday in this game due to both teams not having overly explosive offenses.
However, the Browns have shown that they can put up points in bunches by breaking off big runs and connecting on a couple of deep throws just two weeks ago against the Cincinnati Bengals. They also scored a defensive touchdown, which is possible this week against a turnover-prone quarterback like Goff.
This game could get ugly from the moment the kickoff occurs, with Cleveland being a better team than their record indicates. However, the Browns can easily put up 30+ points themselves in this contest, so we’ll just need the Lions to score some garbage-time points to get us over.
The total has gone over in four out of the last six games for Cleveland this season. On top of that, the over is 4-1 in the previous five matchups between the Lions and the Browns.
Thank you for reading our Lions vs. Browns Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 11 Best Bets.