Cleveland Browns Favorite to Beat Colts on Sunday
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INDIANAPOLIS – The look on Johnathan Hankins’ face said it all.
Huh? Really? That can’t be right.
Johnathan, are you surprised the Colts are underdogs to the Cleveland Browns (0-2) in Week Three?
“I didn’t know that,” was what Hankins could get out before diving into normal speak about the weekly preparation that goes into every game.
When Anthony Castonzo first heard that the Colts were underdogs to the Browns, who have lost 20 of their last 21 regular season games, he felt a bit slighted.
“It is a little disrespectful,” Castonzo said earlier this week.
Currently listed around a one-point favorite, the Browns are not used to being on that side of how those in Vegas view their games.
In fact, the Browns are road favorites this week for the first time since the 2014 season.
Despite having a struggling rookie quarterback, and down several key players on both sides of the ball, Cleveland is a favorite in Week Three.
It’s clearly more of an indictment of how those view the current state of the Colts.
Placing the Browns as a favorite is probably a bit premature, and the line is likely to shrink down to a pick’em contest once Sunday arrives.
Being a road favorite is something very foreign to the Browns franchise.
Per ESPN, the Browns have been road favorites in just nine games over the last 20 years. That’s nine times out of 160 road contests. The next closest team during that stretch has been the favorite 26 times on the road (Houston and Detroit).
The oddsmakers in Vegas clearly do not think very highly of the Colts.
One week after the Colts were home touchdown underdogs to the 0-1 Arizona Cardinals, now the Browns are the favorites inside of Lucas Oil Stadium.
As if the Colts needed any more motivation in Week Three (and they shouldn’t), Sin City has provided them just that.
But it hasn’t been mentioned yet.
“That’s probably the last thing on anybody’s mind,” Chuck Pagano said on Wednesday. “That wasn’t one of the bullet point in the team meeting.”
Here is Wednesday’s injury report:
DNP: C-Ryan Kelly (left foot), QB-Andrew Luck (right shoulder), WR-Chester Rogers (hamstring), ILB-Anthony Walker (hamstring), CB-Quincy Wilson (knee), TE-Brandon Williams (calf)
-Bowen’s Analysis: Chuck Pagano said on Wednesday that Luck will not practice all week. Pagano said Luck and Kelly are getting closer to practicing though. With Luck missing another week of practice, it’s starting to look like he might not return until Week Five at the earliest. Wilson is the surprise on this list. The rookie corner played 64-of-66 snaps in starting last Sunday. He’s especially needed with Vontae Davis still working himself back. Rogers had a setback after practicing last week. Rogers’ hamstring injury has kept him out for over a month.
LIMITED: WR-Kamar Aiken (hip), OLB-Tarell Basham (heat exhaustion), S-Darius Butler (hamstring), CB-Vonate Davis (groin), RB-Marlon Mack (shoulder), CB-Chris Milton (hamstring)
-Bowen’s Analysis: It was a hot one at practice on Wednesday, so not surprised to see Basham having to leave early. Butler was back to practice on Wednesday after missing Week Two. That makes it two days in a row for Davis on the practice field. The Colts incorporated him into a few team drills on Wednesday. If Wilson’s status lingers this week, Davis’ return is even more important.
— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) September 20, 2017