Cleveland Browns vs. New England Patriots Preview, Prediction, Picks & Odds -- 11/14/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 1 p.m. ET
Venue: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Where to watch: CBS

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Patriots -1.5; O/U 45.5
BetMGM: Patriots -1.5; O/U 45
Caesars: Patriots -1.5; O/U 45.5

Season record
Browns: 5-4 (2nd place, AFC North)
Patriots: 5-4 (2nd place, AFC East)

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Browns - Patriots preview and analysis


Last week
Browns: won 41-16 at Bengals
Patriots: won 24-6 at Panthers

The Cleveland Browns appear back. We’ll see how they fare against the New England Patriots in Foxboro on Sunday.

The Browns made a statement on Sunday with a 25-point win on the road against what we perceived to be one of the best teams in the AFC, the Cincinnati Bengals.

Baker Mayfield only needed to complete 14 of 21 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns against the Bengals for what was a season-best 132.6 passing rating. Nick Chubb came back with a vengeance for a 163 yards from scrimmage, including 137 on the ground and two touchdowns.

"Our whole locker room needed that," Mayfield said. "We played for each other. It's just the type of team we have. I trust the guys in this locker room. I've said it over and over again, and I truly mean it.

The Browns defense had one of its best games in a long while, intercepting Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow twice, including one from Denzel Ward that was returned for a pick-six and swiped all momentum toward Cleveland in the 100th percentile.

The AFC North has turned into a cluster of a division. The Browns are third behind the streaking Pittsburgh Steelers and the first-place Baltimore Ravens. Just two weeks ago, the Bengals -- now in last place, were camping in first after dominating Baltimore on the road.

Long story short, a lot can change in this division.

But things are also heating up for the Patriots in the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills in a struggling situation. The Patriots are coming off a win at the Carolina Panthers last week and by way of the Buffalo Bills falling short against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Patriots are only one game back of the Bills for first place after a three-game win streak.

Rookie quarterback Mac Jones had only 139 yards and a touchdown last week for Bill Belichick’s club. Damien Harris has become a great complementary piece in the backfield on offense after rushing for a touchdown in the fifth straight game. Running back Rhamondre Stevenson even added 106 yards from scrimmage last week, which was more than enough to defeat a Carolina team that’s been nothing of bad over the last month.

This was a defense that recorded three interceptions on three straight possessions on quarterback Sam Darnold.

"We disguise," said cornerback J.C. Jackson, who leads with five interceptions. "Our defense disguises pretty good. Every year he's had a hard time."

Prediction


This matchup, aka Patriots Week,  comes down to if Cleveland can run the ball on the New England defense. The Patriots give up almost 110 rushing yards per game and if Chubb can double down on that performance last week, the Browns will be in good shape. We’ll also see if the decision to move on from Odell Beckham Jr. will be the springboard to something bigger. Mayfield looked good last week; a better secondary awaits him. I’ll give it to the Browns in a close one with major playoff implications. Browns by 3

Betting trends


The Browns are 4-13 ATS in their last 17 coming off a road game.

The Patriots are 15-16 ATS as a favorite the past three seasons, dating back to the Tom Brady era.

The Patriots are 44-25 ATS since 1992 after being held below 150 rushing yards the game prior.

Statistical leaders


Browns:
Passing: Baker Mayfield -- 1,917 yards, 8 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Nick Chubb -- 721 yards, 6 TD
Receiving: David Njoku -- 341 yards, 2 TD
Defense: Myles Garrett -- 12 sacks

Patriots:
Passing: Mac Jones -- 2,135 yards, 10 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Damien Harris -- 547 yards, 7 TD
Receiving: Jakobi Meyers -- 434 yards
Defense: Matt Judon -- 9 sacks

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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