Embattled quarterback Deshaun Watson expects to make his Cleveland Browns debut against his former team, the Houston Texans, on Sunday at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Watson has missed Cleveland’s first 11 games due to an NFL personal-conduct suspension. The Browns (4-7) are coming off a 23-17 overtime win over the Buccaneers.
The Texans (1-9-1) fell to the Miami Dolphins 30-15 on Sunday.
Here’s a look at the best bets for Cleveland vs Houston.
Pat Pickens’ NFL Betting Record: 43-47 (+4.9 Units)
Browns vs Texans Odds
Cleveland opened as a heavy, seven-point road favorite against the Texans as of Monday, at Caesars Sportsbook. The Texans have lost six straight and are 0-4-1 at home this season. Cleveland has lost three straight on the road.
Browns vs Texans Implied Totals
Browns 26.75, Texans 19.75
The Browns are allowing about 26 points per game and are scoring about 24 per game. Houston is scoring 16 points per game, but is allowing about 23.6 points per game.
Browns vs Texans Pick of the Day
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Browns vs Texans Prediction
Browns 20, Texans 17
Cleveland traded six picks, including its 2023 first-rounder, to Houston for Watson thinking he was the missing piece of a potential championship team. Yet, Watson’s alleged sexual harassment against massage therapists that resulted in his 11-game ban threw a wrench into that plan.
The Browns still have faint playoff hopes after their OT win over the Bucs on Sunday, and those odds could take a huge jump if Watson can come in and light it up.
But he hasn’t played in a regular-season game since the Week 17 of the 2020 season, almost two full years ago, and four weeks of practice probably won’t be enough to shake the rust off.
The Texans have added incentive to beat Watson, aside from the traditional revenge factor, since they own Cleveland’s No. 1 pick. Houston has played competitive games against the Eagles, Colts, Giants and Titans, yet hasn’t found a way to win more than a single game, a 13-6 victory at Jacksonville.
Cleveland should still be able to survive the Texans’ best efforts thanks to its dominant running game with Watson, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Browns are fifth in the NFL in both yards per game (376.9) and rushing yards per game (154.4), and the Texans are dead last against the run (168.6).
Cleveland has allowed the third-most points per game in football, but it probably won’t matter for a Houston offense that is dead last in yards per game (279) and has only surpassed 20 points once this season.
Browns vs Texans Bet Tips
Here are a few Browns vs Texans betting trends to consider before making your bets:
- Watson will make his first regular-season appearance in 700 days.
- Houston is 2-3 against the spread at home this season.
- The Browns are averaging 29.25 points per game on the road.
Browns vs Texans Best Bets
Under 46.5 Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 2 Units
The Browns are averaging about 22 points per game over the past six games. While Watson may have more physical tools than Cleveland starter Jacoby Brissett, he hasn’t taken game reps with any of Cleveland’s skill position players.
Plus, the Texans won’t likely be much help on offense. Houston is only scoring about 15 points per game over its six-game losing streak.
Mash this Under, especially if it remains this high.
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Texans +7 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
As stated above, it may take some time for Cleveland’s offense to get uncorked, and Houston offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton should dial up a trick play or two to help the Texans generate offense.
In the end, Cleveland’s dominant run game should be too much. But the Texans should keep things interesting.
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Browns vs Texans Props
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