2002 Season NFL Football Past Picks
December 29, 2002
This pick was released to clients on August 13, 2012 at 4:39PM ET.
Atlanta at Cleveland
Sunday 12/29 01:00 PM Eastern
4 units on Cleveland +2.5 (-110) (risk 4 to return 7.64) RESULT: WIN
Who needs to win? Maybe both teams… maybe one. Cleveland definitely needs to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. If Philadelphia beats the Giants on Saturday, Atlanta will be in the playoffs by the time they take the field against Cleveland. If that happens, this becomes an even stronger pick as Atlanta will have little left to play for.
Statistically, Atlanta is the better team but these teams are actually pretty close and my Power Ratings show Cleveland to be underrated here. Atlanta has the edge in rushing while Cleveland is a better passing team. Atlanta is more exciting to watch and has a better record but Cleveland has lost a lot of close games that they could have won.
This one should be close. With head coach Butch Davis, the Browns have had over half (58%) of their games decided in the final minute of the ball game. Seven of their fifteen games this year have been decided by 3 or less.
Home dogs in their final game of the season are 65% ATS when playing good or great teams and home dogs off an away win (low scoring) as a dog are 88% ATS in the next game.
I expect Cleveland to keep this game close and win it outright if Atlanta has nothing to play for.
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