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Browns vs. Chiefs 2021 Predictions: Can Cleveland keep it close?

Can Baker Mayfield and the Browns roll into KC and cause the upset?
Can Baker Mayfield and the Browns roll into KC and cause the upset?
By Neil Monnery

They played in the playoffs in January and that game was a thriller. Neil Monnery takes a look at what might happen as Cleveland roll back into KC this weekend...

Patrick Mahomes and Co. return to the field after a disappointing performance in Super Bowl LV looking to hit the ground running. They don’t start with anything easy either the Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns coming to town.

The visitors have one of the most balanced rosters around the NFC. The duel headed monster of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the backfield will look to keep the Chiefs’ front seven very honest. Chubb in particular has been a very productive back and churned out over 1,000 yards a year ago. Hunt himself went for north of 800 yards so you have to very much respect their running game.

OBJ might be more of a brand than a superstar receiver these days but he can still be a productive player. Rashard Higgins and Jarvis Landry will play complimentary football.

For KC, everyone knows their top level players on offense. Patrick Mahomes has been a whirlwind ever since he took over the starting gig for Andy Reid’s team from Alex Smith. Travis Kelce is the best TE playing football and a complete mismatch for opposition defenses and Tyreek Hill can spread the field better than anyone. So what they do on the offensive side of the ball is pretty obvious to anyone that watches football.

In the playoffs back in January however, Cleveland could easily have pulled off the big upset. They have those two big Defensive Ends who can disrupt the game in the backfield. That is always something to keep in mind when betting on Browns’ games.

The final aspect that will dictate how I play the game is my belief in that retooled KC o-line. They had serious issues at the position a year ago and that was a big part of why they were unable to repeat as Super Bowl champs. What they did in the offseason should have addressed many of those issues.

Spread:

Cleveland are a 5.5pt underdog with the line having moved up from an opening number of -4. I’m not surprised the money is coming in on the KC side and I’d just - just - lean that way as well. Cleveland could easily keep this very close.

Straight-up/Moneyline:

I like KC to win on the Moneyline but -227 isn’t long enough for me to dabble.

Over/Under Points Totals:

54.5pts is a high number and when you consider they played in the playoffs last year and totaled 39, it surprises me it is that high. Both teams are good on offense but they can play decent defense too. I’ll take the under here.

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