Denver Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns – Thursday Night Football, October, 21, 2021

By Dan Vasta in NFL
| October 20, 2021 11:11 am PDT

Denver and Cleveland will have their work cut out for them this season. The AFC playoff picture is fierce as ever. The four division leaders have been flexing their muscles.

The wild card race is likely to come down to the wire. Three wild cards have only complicated things with an extra week on the slate this season. Injuries have certainly played a part for both of these squads. Denver wideout Jerry Jeudy was taken off the injured reserve and should be back in the immediate future.

Odell Beckham Jr. has been unable to develop the rapport that is needed to succeed in the offense. Baker Mayfield (shoulder) is out, so we will see Case Keenum and Teddy Bridgewater starting.

Both lack the arm strength needed to be elite. Both have shown the ability to be successful. Bridgewater has avoided pressure and taken care of the ball, but he has room for improvement in the red zone.

Mayfield is coming off a miserable game where the injury bug struck yet again for Cleveland. Here are your latest odds via SportsBetting.ag for this AFC clash between the Broncos and Browns.

 

Broncos vs. Browns

Broncos (+1.5)+105
Browns (-1.5)-125
Broncos to Win+105
Browns to Win-125
Over 41-110
Under 41-110

Cleveland has been struggling to cover as home favorites lately. They are 2-5 against the spread as a home favorite. The expectations are higher after winning a playoff game last season. There is an opportunity for them to achieve success if Cleveland can run the ball with their backups.

Denver has gone 5-3 against the spread as a road underdog, but 3-5 straight up. When these two meet up, Denver has dominated over the years. The Broncos are 5-1-1 against the spread with a 6-1 record straight up.

Be sure to come back for more free football picks and predictions. Here are your latest keys to victory for the Broncos and Browns.

Why the Broncos Will Win

Teddy Bridgewater has been able to dissect most defenses with his accurate arm. He has often been able to scramble and buy time in the pocket, but the pieces around him are fantastic.

Tim Patrick has quietly stepped up for the injured Jerry Jeudy, but Courtland Sutton has been an air yardage machine for the squad.

Taking care of the ball has been a plus for this team, so that is an advantage they could use in their favor. Another advantage in this matchup for Denver is their health.

When Bridgewater can find these guys down the field, Denver is an offense that can be explosive. They failed to show up against Las Vegas, but the NFL had a week full of topsy-turvy games. Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams are two performers that need to find some running room to take the pressure off their passing game.

Bridgewater did a decent job with Carolina last season, but solid weapons are on his side again to find success in the gauntlet known as the AFC West. Cleveland has a secondary that has given up huge plays before. The offensive line will need to buy time for the receivers and back to get open down the field.

Cleveland has a slew of injuries that will make life challenging on them. Kareem Hunt (calf), Nick Chubb (calf), and Baker Mayfield (shoulder) are all feeling it. All three were ruled out by Wednesday. Without potentially all three, their playoff hopes are far from a lock.

The Denver defense is much better than they showed against Las Vegas, so this will be a bounce-back type of battle on Thursday Night Football.

Why the Browns Will Win

The defense will need to play with their backs against the wall. The offense is in complete disarray with their latest injuries. Kareem Hunt had an injured wrist/knee, and now his calf caused him to get put on the injured reserve. The one-two punch in the backfield has been one of the better tandems in the entire league. Without them, Cleveland has a struggling offense.

D’Ernest Johnson is a player that will need to put together a solid game, and he has answered the bell when asked. Demetric Felton is a capable back. Replacing players that may miss time due to injury will be a challenge.

Odell Beckham Jr. finally had a solid game, and Jarvis Landry could be back for this TNG showdown. The pieces are far weak, but they certainly need to produce better numbers with Mayfield under center.

With Baker (shoulder) not playing in this matchup, Case Keenum is now the starter and he has seen plenty of NFL experience. Regardless, the defense will need to force a few turnovers.

Myles Garrett is one of the best players in the trenches in the entire NFL. He is capable of getting a strip-sack and wrecking the Denver backfield. If the Broncos cannot get much of a run game going, the Browns could tee off on Bridgewater.

Broncos vs. Browns Prediction

Denver is the healthier team, so they honestly should be favored even after losing to the Raiders. There is a real chance this game comes down to the final possession in a coin-flip type of game.

The Broncos will win this one if they can take care of the football. Bridgewater had a huge fourth-quarter coming from behind. The Raiders played prevent defense, which allowed the numbers to look a bit better than they were.

Still, Denver has everything in front of them despite their recent home loss. I like them to be able to pick up a monumental win on the road that could matter at the end of the season as both of these teams attempt to reach the postseason. Feel free to check back throughout the week for more free picks and predictions.

Broncos vs. Browns Pick

The TNF game comes down to Bridgewater and Keenum. They will battle to put their teams in the best position to win.

I like Denver with the points on the road. Survival of the fittest has a new meaning for this one. The Browns are without their three stars for the game and will be forced to rely on lesser skilled players. Roll with the Broncos to win this one outright.

Pick
  • Broncos to Win
    +105

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