NFL

Sunday Night Football Betting: What Bets Should You Be on for This AFC North Clash?

The Baltimore Ravens are 3.5-point home favorites over the Cleveland Browns, per FanDuel Sportsbook. The total is set at 46.5 points.

Our nERD-based rankings have the Ravens slotted 20th overall while the Bengals are ranked 22nd. This is the first of two meetings between the teams, both of which occur within a three-week span of each other.

Let's dive into some interesting betting angles for this contest.

Breaking It Down

The Ravens are expected to welcome back Lamar Jackson, which is obviously a huge boost to their outlook.

Not only are the Ravens expected to get back Jackson, but Marquise Brown should return in the lineup, as well. By our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, Jackson has just been a pretty average signal-caller through the air, logging a mark of 0.13 Passing NEP per drop back. Perhaps the most bothersome part of the Ravens' offense is their inability to slow down opposing pass rushes. Jackson has hit the turf 28 times this season.

On the other side of the field, injuries appear to clearly be affecting the play of Baker Mayfield. Despite admirably playing through multiple ailments, he hasn't been at his best this season. Mayfield has posted 10 touchdown passes and six interceptions, and his Passing NEP per drop back of 0.06 is well below the league average.

If Cleveland is to come out on top, it'll likely be due to their third-ranked rushing offense. Both Nick Chubb (0.18 Rushing NEP per carry) and Kareem Hunt (0.23) have been extremely efficient. Combined, they have carried the football for more 1,200 yards this season.

Jackson is Baltimore's leading rusher -- by far -- logging 639 yards on the ground. Both Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray have been solid, rushing for a combined 516 yards and seven scores.

The edge on D lies with Baltimore, but neither one of these units is all that good. The Ravens rank 20th in overall defense by our numbers while the Browns check in 25th.

Bets to Consider

With the Ravens a 3.5-point favorite and the total at 46.5 points, where should you have your money for this one, according to our numbers?

We are projecting the Ravens to hold serve at home -- but quite narrowly. We think they pull it out by a score of 24.40-22.77. We see a little value on the Browns (58% chance to cover), but the over/under is more of a toss-up.

One player prop our projections like is the over on Lamar Jackson's passing yards. The line currently stands at 237.5 yards, but we have him totaling 261.57 passing yards. The Browns rank in the bottom half of the league against the pass, and they've allowed some big-time passing performances this season, including three touchdown passes from Mac Jones two weeks ago along with a four-score effort from Kyler Murray earlier in the year.

Historical Betting Trends

-- Cleveland has struggled against the spread (ATS) lately. They are only 1-3 ATS in their last four games.
-- Baltimore has thrived on Sunday night, going 4-1 ATS in their last five.
-- The over has hit in each of Cleveland's past three road tilts.