Browns vs. Texans Week 13 matchup preview and current betting lines
The Cleveland Browns (4-7) and Houston Texans (1-9-1) have probably been anticipating or dreading this game for months. Deshaun Watson, once thought to be the franchise player in Houston for the next decade, makes his Cleveland debut after serving an 11-game suspension for allegations of sexual misconduct by over 20 women. Watson has not played in the NFL since the 2020 season ended.
The Browns got a more than respectable job out of backup Jacoby Brissett this season, who ranks No. 7 in QBR and led one of the better offenses in the league during his 11 games.
Cleveland is a better team than its record shows, but the defense has been a letdown. That probably will not be the case this week when they take on the Texans, who are expected to give Kyle Allen his second start. He was down 30-0 at halftime to the Dolphins last week before losing 30-15.
But if the Texans cannot stop the bulldozer known as Nick Chubb, then the choice of quarterback by either team in this game is likely not going to matter for the outcome.
The NFL Week 13 odds have the Browns as a 7-point road favorite with a total of 47 points. Can the Houston faithful come out to boo Watson into mistakes? It’s a tough sell when your team has one win in December.
Players to watch in the Browns vs. Texans game
Myles Garrett: He was a beast last week with 1.5 sacks of Tom Brady, including some key third-down stops to help the Browns come back to win in overtime. Garrett hasn’t had the stellar season he wanted and was involved in a car accident during the season, but he has a chance against one of the worst offenses in the league to rack up big numbers.
Dameon Pierce: Remember when he was the offense’s best player? The Texans had to forget their rookie running back after falling behind 30-0 on Sunday, but Pierce only had 10 carries for 8 yards against Washington the week before. If he cannot get going against a bad Cleveland run defense, then we have to wonder if he hit the rookie wall or what’s going on here in Houston. He was in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race prior to these last two duds.
Our Best NFL Bets for the Browns vs. Texans game
We have two NFL Week 13 predictions for this AFC matchup that could be a spectacle this Sunday.
Browns vs. Texans Point Spread Pick: Browns -7 (-110)
The Browns vs. Texans spread opened with the Browns as a 5.5-point road favorite. The line has moved up to 7 points going into the weekend.
It would be quite the story to see the Texans get their second win over Deshaun Watson, who is significantly responsible for why this team has sunk to such a low place in the NFL.
But the matchup does not look good. Nick Chubb is a machine and the Houston run defense has never been worse than this season. Granted, the Texans were able to hold the Dolphins to 66 rushing yards last week, only the second time all year Houston held someone under 136 rushing yards. But the Dolphins also have some issues with running.
Chubb is going to have a field day, and that will help make Watson’s first game in nearly two full years easier. You figure there will be some rust there, so it’s great to rely on one of the best backs in the league.
On defense, Tyrod Taylor had a good start to last year’s matchup against Cleveland, then he got injured, and the Browns won 31-21. With Kyle Allen, it’s hard to pinpoint anything he does well. The Texans had too many mistakes and negative plays against Miami last week in falling into that 30-0 hole.
Cleveland is unlikely to put up a huge number with Watson in his first game, but it is easy to take the Browns to cover in this matchup. They are better on both sides of the ball, and if Watson looks anything like the quarterback we used to respect on the field, then you can see how this team would be a scary one for 2023.
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Browns Prop: Nick Chubb 2 or More Touchdowns (+220)
You know you want to pick this one. The Houston run defense has done a decent job of limiting huge games to opposing running backs the last two weeks, but this is Nick Chubb we’re talking about.
Houston’s defense has already allowed multiple touchdown games this year to Khalil Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Josh Jacobs, and Derrick Henry. Jacobs and Ekeler had three scores in their games. We know Chubb is right in that class of running back.
Chubb has three games with multiple touchdowns this season. He has scored one touchdown in all three career meetings with Houston, but we know this is the worst run defense yet, and the Browns are going to want to ease Watson in this week.
Kareem Hunt stealing a short one at the goal line might screw this pick up, so you may want to hedge with Chubb having a big yardage game too. But let’s go with the value pick at bet365 on multiple touchdowns for your NFL bet of the week.bet on nfl with BET365
Frequently asked questions about the Browns vs. Texans game in Week 13
The game is being played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Houston may have the worst record in the NFL and has been an underdog in all 12 games, but it does not have the worst spread record. The Texans are 4-6-1 ATS, which is the same record as the Chiefs and Ravens. Cleveland is not much better at 5-6 ATS.