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Now it's time to put up or shut up.
Cleveland meets Kansas City (-10, 57) in Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday with a trip to the conference championship on the line. But the Browns must overcome the largest point spread of the weekend if they want to stun last year's Super Bowl winner.
Can they pull it off, or will they become the latest victim of a Chiefs rout? Let's dig into the preview for Sunday's divisional matchup.
The best teams in the league don't always make bettors the happiest. Kansas City is a prime example.
The Chiefs finished the regular season 14-2, yet have covered just one game since Nov. 8! The club is currently on a dreadful 1-7 run against the spread despite their win-loss record being the exact opposite over that span. Makes sense.
However, this is usually when head coach Andy Reid and Co. turn it up. Kansas City has covered four of the last five home games, and although the stadium won't hold maximum capacity, getting any sort of noise in those confines could make it tricky for a Cleveland squad that's just 3-12 ATS the last 15 versus the AFC.
The Browns enter the weekend No. 9 in DVOA offense a year after clocking in at No. 20. The franchise is certainly a suitable shootout partner: Cleveland's gone over the total in each of the last four against teams with winning records and four of the last five as 'dogs.
Chubb's a tricky pick - if Kansas City goes up big early, he potentially becomes a moot point. The second-year back will have to leave his fingerprints on the game at some point, whether it's by making a statement on the ground in the opening drive or icing a win late with his ability to move the chains and eat up the clock.
The Chiefs can score at will, but their rush defense has been horrible in 2020. Only the Patriots were worse in this department, per DVOA.
Meanwhile, Chubb ranks No. 1 in rushing yards over expected per attempt, No. 2 in average rushing yards, and No. 4 in broken tackles for running backs this season. If Cleveland can stay within striking distance, Chubb is in for a monster day.
I can't wait to see what Reid has schemed up for this one. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his supporting cast have had an extended period to prepare for this matchup, and the Browns are just formidable enough for Kansas City to take things seriously.
Cleveland's defense is in for a rude awakening. The Browns played the easiest schedule of opposing offenses this campaign and only finished No. 25 and 19 in DVOA pass and rush defense, respectively. What's going to happen against the league's fastest offense?
Another factor to consider here is tempo. Cleveland prefers to go slow on offense, ranking only No. 21 in the NFL in pace. However, when the Browns trail by seven or more, they rank No. 14. Expect a lot of back and forth.
The Chiefs are at home, with rest, and matching up against a defense that's due for some serious regression. We might be in for a patented Kansas City crooked number to cap off Sunday night.
(Odds source: theScore Bet)
Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.