Greg Cote

Browns-Ravens matchup certainly won’t make NFL great again

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson works the sidelines in the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, in Cleveland. he Baltimore Ravens understand how embarrassing it would be to lose to the winless Browns on national television. They would rather focus on the benefits of a victory, which would thrust them into sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson works the sidelines in the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, in Cleveland. he Baltimore Ravens understand how embarrassing it would be to lose to the winless Browns on national television. They would rather focus on the benefits of a victory, which would thrust them into sole possession of first place in the AFC North. AP

BROWNS (0-9) at RAVENS (4-4)

Line: BAL by 10.

Cote’s pick: BAL 27-20.

TV: 8:25 p.m. Thursday, NFLN (airing in South Florida).

Imagine being both a Democrat and an NFL fan this week. You’re still reeling from Hillary Clinton losing to Donald Trump and now you get slapped with the winless Cleveland Browns in prime time. Could this godforsaken week get any worse!? But, seriously, if you wonder why NFL prime-time TV ratings are down, blame matchups like this one kicking off Week 10. Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who is 15-2 against the Browns, actually said this week of Cleveland: “We understand this is a quality team we’re dealing with.” Is Harbaugh trying out lines for a career in standup? The Earthtones are as bad as their woeful record. But here’s the thing. Baltimore had to rally to beat their AFC North mate 25-20 in Week 2, and faces a natural letdown after beating main-rival Pittsburgh last week. So this game figures as competitive, if not especially watchable. Cleveland inventively will find a way to lose — again — but the betting line is too big.

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