This weekend just went from tough to tougher for the Cleveland Browns. They already had a tall task when it came to hosting the undefeated San Francisco 49ers but it was more daunting knowing that Deshaun Watson was unlikely to play.
Late in the week, it was announced he would officially be out for the second game in a row as P.J. Walker was set to make his Cleveland debut. Not long after that hit the news wire, the Browns also let it be known Joel Bitonio and David Njoku were also likely going to miss this one.
With potentially three key starters out, the Browns are at a disadvantage. With that being the case, what are the oddsmakers saying, and can the home team pull off an upset?
Browns vs. 49ers odds for Week 6
As of Thursday night, the Browns were a 9.5-point underdog at home. With them losing 28-3 in their last outing while the 49ers won 42-10 against Dallas, it's understandable why the oddsmakers are leaning this way. As for the moneyline, it's -500 for San Francisco and +380 for Cleveland. The over/under is 35.5, so it seems they think this will be another game without a lot of offensive fireworks for the Browns.
Browns vs. 49ers prediction for Week 6
Kyle Shanahan is one of the greatest offensive minds in the game but he's struggled with Jim Schwartz when the two have faced off. Having said that, it's not the defense that we're worried about in this one — it's the offense.
Schwartz and the Cleveland D can keep this one close for a while but with an offense lacking firepower — that will also be starting a quarterback they just called up from the practice squad — this game ends up getting away from them in the second half.
There's a good chance Cleveland falls to 2-3 this weekend and if that happens, there will be the temptation to panic. As long as they can get healthy, there are still eight or nine winnable games on the schedule after this.