Take the surprising Browns over the banged-up Bills

John Boell

Newsday sports writer John Boell John Boell

Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various

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BILLS (2-2) at BROWNS (2-2), 8:25 p.m.

Browns by 4; O/U: 40 1/2

TV: NFL

When I looked at the Thursday Night schedule before the season, this game looked as appealing as two-day-old leftovers.

But after both teams registered upset wins, and covers, in Week 4, this game looks much more appetizing.

Quick question: didn't the Cleveland organization wave the white flag on this season when they traded RB Trent Richardson to the Colts a few weeks ago? I guess someone forgot to tell that to the Browns, who beat the Bengals last week, 17-6. Brian Hoyer has been quite a surprise, becoming the first Cleveland QB to win his first two starts since Mark Rypien (1994).

The Browns have the NFL's No. 4 ranked defense, and are No. 3 against the run. The Bills are banged up in the backfield as both C.J. Spiller (ankle) and Fred Jackson (knee) were injured last week. I know the Bills are 3-1 against the spread (ATS) this season, but Buffalo is just 3-11-1 ATS in their last 15 games following a cover the week before. The Browns take the Battle of I-90.