Browns vs. Falcons odds, picks: 2021 NFL preseason Week 3 predictions, best bets from expert on 46-28 run - CBSSports.com

Teams looking to finish their first preseason on a positive note will meet when the Cleveland Browns take on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The coronavirus pandemic wiped out the 2020 exhibition season, putting a crimp on talent evaluations throughout the league. The Browns, who finished 11-5 and tied for second in the AFC North with the Baltimore Ravens, will aim for their first consecutive postseason appearances since reaching the playoffs in five straight seasons from 1985 to 1989. The Falcons, who were last in the NFC South at 4-12 in 2020, have not reached the playoffs since 2017, when they lost in the divisional round.

Kickoff from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is set for 8 p.m. ET. Cleveland is a six-point favorite in the latest Browns vs. Falcons odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 36. Before making any Falcons vs. Browns picks, make sure to check out the expert NFL predictions from SportsLine NFL expert R.J. White.

White, a CBS Sports fantasy and gambling editor, ended the 2020 season on an 80-59 run on all NFL picks, returning more than $1,400 during that span. It's no surprise, as White has cashed huge twice in the world's most prestigious football handicapping competition, the Las Vegas SuperContest.

White has had a lot of success in games involving the Atlanta Falcons. He's on a 46-28 roll on his against-the-spread picks involving the Falcons, returning almost $500 to $100 players on those picks. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, White has set his sights on Falcons vs. Browns and just revealed his NFL expert picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several NFL odds and betting trends for Browns vs. Falcons:

  • Browns vs. Falcons spread: Browns -6
  • Browns vs. Falcons over-under: 36 points
  • Browns vs. Falcons money line: Browns -250, Falcons +205
  • CLE: Browns are 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games
  • ATL: Falcons are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games as home underdogs
Featured Game | Atlanta Falcons vs. Cleveland Browns

Why the Browns can cover

Cleveland is expected to play a number of starters, but players fighting for roster spots will see the most action, according to Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. Among the players making a strong first impression so far this preseason is rookie safety Richard LeCounte. The fifth-round pick from Georgia already has two interceptions. As a senior last season, he had three interceptions and four pass breakups. He was among the Bulldogs' top tacklers with 26, including 16 solo. He also had one fumble recovery.

Fifth-year pro Elijah Lee, whom the Browns claimed off waivers from the Detroit Lions last October and later re-signed in March, is off to a strong start as well. The outside linebacker is tied for second in the league with 15 tackles this August. The former first-team All-Big 12 selection from Kansas State has 84 career tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two pass breakups. As a collegiate player, he finished with 11 sacks and five interceptions.

Why the Falcons can cover

Now that star wide receiver Julio Jones has moved on, the Falcons will try to shore up their receiving corps. Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheaus top the depth chart, but a number of others will need a strong performance against the Browns. Among them is rookie Frank Darby, a sixth-round pick from Arizona State. Darby had two catches for 27 yards in a 37-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins last week. Darby finished an abbreviated 2020 with the Sun Devils with six receptions for 46 yards (7.7 average) and one touchdown.

Also expected to make an impact on the passing game is first-round draft pick Kyle Pitts, a tight end from Florida. He has yet to see game action with the Falcons, but that could change this week. Pitts was a nightmare matchup in college and finished the 2020 season with 43 receptions for 770 yards (17.9 average) and 12 touchdowns. For his career, he had 100 catches for 1,492 yards and 18 TDs.

How to make Falcons vs. Browns picks

White is leaning over on the point total, and he's also discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He's only sharing that pick and the rest of his NFL expert picks at SportsLine.

So who wins Falcons vs. Browns? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see R.J. White's Browns vs. Falcons pick and analysis, all from the NFL expert who's 46-28 on picks involving Atlanta, and find out. 

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