Gridiron guide: Ravens-Browns pick

Dennis Pitta and Joe Flacco celebrate after they Dennis Pitta and Joe Flacco celebrate after they connected for a touchdown against the New England Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium. (Sept. 23, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty

advertisement | advertise on newsday

John Boell Newsday sports writer John Boell

Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various capacities since 1999. In 2010, he became Newsday's

BROWNS (0-3)

at RAVENS (2-1), 8:20 p.m.

Ravens by 12; O/U: 43 1/2

TV: NFL Network.

Radio: WFAN (660).

When I typed "replacement refs" into Google yesterday afternoon, I found 142 million results, which took just 0.16 seconds. That has to be some kind of time record, right?

Speaking of records, those replacement refs hurt my overall total for the season and cost me a win: I had the Packers giving 3 1/2 points Monday night. Even more costly, Green Bay is now 1-2 instead of 2-1. So as we enter Week 4, I need to continue my personal march toward respectability and the .500 mark.

I'm trying to find some value in taking the Browns getting 12 points in tonight's Art Modell Bowl, but I'm having a hard time. Although the Browns haven't beaten the Ravens since Nov. 18, 2007 -- the game happened to be in Baltimore -- the Ravens are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games as a home favorite of 10 1/2 points or greater. But I'm fading that trend.

The Ravens' defense, led by LB Ray Lewis and S Ed Reed, will be too much for Cleveland rookies QB Brandon Weeden (6 INTs, 3 TDs, 60.7 QB rating) and RB Trent Richardson (3.5 yards per carry) to overcome.

THE PICK: Ravens

You also may be interested in: