One team sits atop their division heading into Week 11.
The other wallows in third place, three full games behind the division leaders.
But the NFC East isn’t exactly the AFC North.
NFC East Standings…
1) Philadelphia Eagles (3-5-1)
2) New York Giants (3-7)
3) Washington Football Team (2-7)
4) Dallas Cowboys (2-7)
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) November 15, 2020
Less kindly folks would argue it isn’t like any NFL division, playing more like a semi-pro group.
So it is that the 6-3, third-place Cleveland Browns that open as 3.5-point favorites over the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles (3-5-1) according to BetMGM.
And many Browns fans are wondering why the spread isn’t bigger.
After all, isn’t this the same Eagles team that muddled through a scoreless overtime to tie the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3?
Cleveland owns a 2-0 record over their last-place cross-state rivals.
Philadelphia’s 3 wins came against the injured 49ers and the hapless Cowboys and the team formerly-known-as-the-Redskins.
The Browns made short work of Dallas and Washington earlier this season.
Looking Deeper at the Point Spread
Perhaps the oddsmakers give a little too much credit to one of the Eagles’ losses.
Philadelphia played the Ravens tough before succumbing to a 30-28 loss.
They followed that effort up with two straight wins heading into their bye, including a 2-touchdown, 4th-quarter comeback versus the Giants.
— Daniel Gallen (@danieljtgallen) November 16, 2020
Turnovers were the principal cause of Philadelphia’s struggles, and they came out of the bye with their first turnover-free effort.
But that was the only positive thing that came out of their Week 10 game.
New York, whose 3 victories came against fellow NFC East underachievers, won comfortably.
It is difficult to fathom why the Eagles are not bigger underdogs, especially on the road.
But it is notable that the Browns actually opened as 2-point favorites, and the line jumped to 3.5 as the week’s betting window opened.
What We Think the Odds Are
Cleveland’s Nick Chubb needed a few quarters to get back on track against the Texans.
But more 200-yard rushing games from the Browns’ dynamic duo of Chubb and Hunt seem likely.
Philadelphia let the Giants run for 151 yards and 3 touchdowns Sunday, although 60 yards came from their quarterback.
There is no reason to expect Cleveland to score less than the 27 points New York put up last week.
Both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt had 100+ rush yards and 5+ yards/carry in today's win over the Texans
They're the first pair of Browns teammates to do so since Ernie Green and HOF Leroy Kelly in Week 5, 1966 vs PIT — the first season of the Super Bowl era
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 15, 2020
Philadelphia has a running duo of their own for the Browns defense to contend with.
Miles Sanders returned from IR to average 5.7 yards-per-carry against a top-third defense.
Boston Scott rattled off a 56-yard score among his 4 touches.
Rainy and breezy weather might elevate the importance of the running game for both squads.
But the elements won’t be nearly as influential as they were the past two weeks.
We think the Browns +3.5 will be a popular bet at home, as will the over on the 47.5 target.