Free NFL Pick: Cleveland Browns at St. Louis Rams

Odds to Win 2019 Super Bowl: Chiefs, Rams Saints punch ticket
Who: Cleveland Browns at St. Louis Rams
Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO
When: Sunday, October 25, 1:00 pm ET
Odds: Rams -6.5, Total 41.5

 

It’s an AFC versus NFC clash, as the 2-4 Browns visit the 2-3 Rams.  The Rams are rested, having had their bye last week.  St. Louis is all about running the ball with rookie RB Todd Gurley.  They should find plenty of success on the ground against a Browns run defense that ranks dead-last in the league, allowing 150 rushing yards per game on five yards per carry.  But the Rams offense ranks among the league’s worst in redzone touchdown percentage.

 

The Browns offense is at its best when they’re airing it out, but they figure to struggle here.  The Rams are tied for first in the league in passing touchdowns allowed (five).  The Rams are also tied for third in the NFL with 19 sacks despite having had a week off.  The Browns offense also owns one of the worst redzone touchdown percentages in the league, while the Rams defense ranks #2 in the NFL in redzone touchdown percentage allowed.

 

The Rams should have success running the football with Gurley, and that keeps the clock moving.  Cleveland figures to have trouble in the passing game, which means they should have trouble scoring.  Both teams have trouble punching the ball across the goal line.  I’m not comfortable laying this many points with St. Louis, as Rams coach Jeff Fisher has been much better in his career in the underdog role.  But this sure looks like a low-scoring game to me.  I recommend a play UNDER the total.

 

WWE Hell In a Cell Start Time and Predictions

WWE presents its Hell In A Cell pay-per-view on Sunday, October 25th at Staples Center in Los Angeles.  The show will air on the WWE Network at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT, with a Kickoff Show beginning at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT.  The following is a list of the matches on this sports entertainment card, along with the betting lines found at one of the major online sports books.
Six-man Tag Team: Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro & Neville (-210) vs. Rusev, Sheamus & King Barrett (+160): This is the Kickoff Show match.  Ziggler has had a months-long feud with the “Bulgarian Brute,” which is seemingly coming to an end now that Rusev’s real-life engagement to Lana has been made public.  Neville and King Barrett have had an on-again off-again feud going since Barrett defeated Neville in the final match of the King of the Ring Tournament six months ago.  Sheamus is “Mr. Money in the Bank,” holding the briefcase that entitles him to a WWE World Heavyweight title match whenever he chooses.  Cesaro is an incredible athlete, and I cannot believe it has been two-and-a-half years since he has won singles gold.  Sheamus & Barrett have worked well together in tag team matches.  They have teamed with Rusev recently as well, and with success.  But I can still see a problem developing on that team during this match.  The favorites, both with the fans and on the betting line, should prevail.
WWE Intercontinental Championship, Kevin Owens (-900) vs. Ryback (+500): Former Intercontinental Champion Ryback gets his rematch in this one.  Owens won the title from “The Big Guy” at WWE Night of Champions.  Owens did so by raking Ryback’s eyes behind the referee’s back, which led to the winning pinfall.  These two have met since, with Owens opting to save his title by voluntarily getting counted out on a Smackdown show earlier this month.  Owens has shown a tendency to walk away from matches or get himself disqualified when the going gets tough.  The going figures to get extremely tough against Ryback.  But neither result would end up in a title change.  I can’t see a clean win by Owens.  He will either take the easy way out (mentioned earlier) or use illegal tactics to steal a victory.  Either way, I don’t see the title changing hands.
WWE Tag Team Championship, The New Day (+180) vs. The Dudley Boyz (-260): Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley recently returned to WWE looking for a tenth reign as WWE Tag Team Champions.  They have met The New Day multiple times since their return, but in each contest the champions have found a way to escape with their titles intact.  The Dudley Boyz own wins over The New Day.  The only problem is those wins came either by disqualification or in non-title matches.  Xavier Woods has saved the titles for his team twice in title matches when the Dudley Boyz appeared to be on the verge of scoring the championship win.  The challengers are the betting favorites in this contest, and I agree that the Dudley Boyz should win this match and earn their tenth reign as WWE Tag Team Champions.
Divas Championship, Charlotte (-900) vs. Nikki Bella (+500): Another championship rematch.  Former Divas champion Nikki Bella was the longest reigning Divas champion in WWE history, but Charlotte ended that reign at Night of Champions.  Charlotte, the daughter of two-time WWE Hall of Famer and 16-time World champion Ric Flair, applied her patented Figure Eight leg lock.  Nikki tapped out, ending her historic reign as champion.  Charlotte’s title victory angered one of her PCB partners, Paige.  Paige has been at odds with Charlotte and Becky Lynch since Charlotte’s title win.  Not only will Nikki Bella have twin sister Brie and Alicia Foxx at ringside, but there’s also the possibility Paige gets involved and costs Charlotte her title.  The numbers game could prove to be too much for the champ to overcome.  I have no problem taking a shot with Nikki Bella at +500.
United States Championship, John Cena U.S. Open Challenge: No odds for this one, as the challenger is unknown at this point.  Since winning the United State title, John Cena has consistently offered open challenges to anyone on the roster.  Cena has made it known that he wants to be a fighting champion, and believes in giving opportunities to anyone who opts to step up and accept his challenge.  Dolph Ziggler is a popular guess to be Cena’s opponent here.  Ziggler is said to be doing a heel turn sometime soon.  It would make sense to have that tie into the Total Divas storyline in which Dolph is trying to rekindle a past relationship with Cena’s lady, Nikki Bella.   I have no idea who Cena’s challenger will be.  But whoever it is, I expect them to win the title from Cena, as rumors have been running rampant that Cena is taking time off after this match.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Seth Rollins (-490) vs. Demon Kane (+330): Rollins’ World title may be on the line, but he is not the only one with something to lose in this match.  As per Stephanie McMahon, if Demon Kane does not win the title, then his alter ego, Corporate Kane, will lose his job as Director of Operations.  Rollins incurred Kane’s wrath by further injuring him after he was attacked by Brock Lesnar a few months ago.  Since his return, Corporate Kane has put Rollins in matches The Architect wanted no part of.  And when Rollins least expected it, Demon Kane would appear to make life miserable the champ.  Kane’s time as World champion has come and gone.  This is a young man’s game, and I don’t see Rollins dropping the strap to The Big Red Monster.
Hell in a Cell Match, (+350): Feels like this feud has been going on forever.  It all started at Money in the Bank.  Reigns was at the top of the ladder, just seconds away from securing the coveted briefcase that would grant him a World title match at any time of his choosing.  But just as Reigns was about to grab the briefcase, the lights in the arena went out.  When they came back on, Bray Wyatt was standing at the base of the ladder.  The Eater of Worlds toppled the ladder, and Sheamus ended up stealing the briefcase, the win, and the title shot.  Reigns has the edge here, as Wyatt’s giant family members (Luke Harper, Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman) will not be able to get into the cell, and Wyatt will not be able to get out.  I’ll be shocked if Reigns doesn’t win this one.
Hell in a Cell Match, The Undertaker (+305) vs. Brock Lesnar (-425): The third and final battle in this rivalry between The Phenom & The Beast.  This feud started way back at WrestleMania XXX, where Lesnar ended ‘Taker’s 21-match WrestleMania undefeated streak.  The Undertaker surprisingly returned this summer, challenging Lesnar to a rematch at SummerSlam.  This match had a controversial ending.  The Undertaker clearly tapped out to Lesnar’s Kimura Lock, but the referee did not see it.  The timekeeper saw it and rang the bell to end the match.  The referee explained to all parties that he did not see the tapout.  Since he did not call for the bell, the match was to continue.  During this confusion, ‘Taker delivered a low blow to The Beast from behind.  This allowed The Phenom to lock Lesnar in his Hell’s Gate submission hold.  A defiant Lesnar stuck his middle finger up to The Undertaker right before he passed out.  So, the WWE record books show this rivalry as one win apiece.  In my mind, Lesnar clearly won both contests.  I do not expect this so-called “rubber match” to be any different.  Lesnar wins barring something illegal by ‘Taker or outside interference by a yet-to-be-known third party.