NFL Week Five Predictions: Atlanta vs. Cleveland

In a non-conference game, the Atlanta Falcons travel to Cleveland to take-on the Browns in week five of the NFL schedule. Vegas odds have placed the Falcons as -3 road favorites.

The Falcons (3-1) are tied for the NFC South division lead with the Saints on the strength of a 3-game winning streak. Their offense is one of the best in the NFL, ranking 10th in passing and 4th in rushing. Michael Turner and Jason Snelling have made an effective 1-2 combo at running back, helping the team average 144.8 yards per game. Quarterback Matt Ryan has passed for nearly 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns, with his favorite receiver a big-play guy in Roddy White, who is truly one of the NFL’s elite receivers. The defense has also performed well, and though they have given-up yardage in the passing game, they have also picked-off eight passes.

Cleveland (1-3) is coming off their first win of the season, 23-20, against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Browns are 3-1 against the spread this season, the only they have failed to cover is when they were favored at home against the Chiefs. Statistically, the Browns are in the bottom half of the league, but have played well lately with Seneca Wallace at quarterback. The ground game has also come alive with the insertion of Peyton Hillis, a bruising, straight-ahead runner who has piled-up 322 yards and 4 TDs, most in the last two games. The Browns have had 8 sacks and just six turnovers in four games, but came-up big with two turnovers against the Bengals.

Can Cleveland stop the high-flying Falcons? With ball control utilizing Hillis, the Browns could play keep away but Atlanta has enough weapons to cover the spread and win as a road favorite for the first time this year.

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