The Best Broncos vs. Browns Player Props Picks for TNF

broncos browns player props

The Broncos and Browns will both look to shake off the injury bug on a short week in a pivotal AFC prime time showdown tonight. On the short turnaround before this Thursday Night Football encounter, each team will be looking to put Band-Aids on bullet wounds and keep sinking ships afloat. Once 3-0 and 3-1, respectively, the Broncos and Browns each enter this Week 7 matchup in danger of slipping below .500 in a crowded AFC.

Let’s jump into this important NFL Week 7 matchup with a look at the best player props picks for Broncos vs. Browns.

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Melvin Gordon Total Rushing Yards Under 43.5

Running the ball against the Cleveland Browns is already difficult enough on its own. They possess the league’s sixth best rush defense, allowing just 87 yards per game. They are also the third best in terms of limiting yards per rush (3.6). You have to imagine topping this prop’s number will be even more difficult for Melvin Gordon given the many injuries to his receiving pals, the uncertainty surrounding Teddy Bridgewater’s health, and the fact that Gordon is, at best, splitting time with Javonte Williams.

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Gordon’s carries have dipped significantly in the last three weeks. After rushing the ball 11, 13, and 18 times in the first three games, he has been handed the rock 10 times or less in each of his team’s last three outings, all losses. Denver finds itself underdogs here once again and could turn to the pass more often to chase the game if behind.

With that decrease in opportunities, Gordon’s rushing totals have predictably dropped as well. He amassed 192 yards in the first half of games this season but just 140 in the more recent three outings. As Denver is on the road for this one, it’s worth noting that, putting aside his anomalous 70-yard touchdown run in Week 1 (Gordon does not have a rush over 14 yards since), the back managed just 31, 31, and 34 yards in his three previous road games this season.

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Cleveland will be the second best defense Denver has faced in terms of rushing yards allowed per game and will be the most stout in terms of yards allowed per rush. The Browns should have something to prove off the bad loss at home and will likely make sledding tough for Gordon, who is exhibiting his usual signs of wearing down physically.

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Tim Patrick Longest Reception Under 20.5 Yards

Unless you’re an elite receiver, it’s been tough getting going against Cleveland’s pass defense this season. Mike Williams and Tyreek Hill had monster games against the Browns. Brandin Cooks, Justin Jefferson, Keenan Allen, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, and Deandre Hopkins all mustered between 55 and 85 receiving yards. And Adam Thielen, Allen Robinson II, and Mecole Hardman all were held to fewer than 50 yards. Most likely, you would agree that Tim Patrick does not yet belong on an elite list.

You should also know that only two wide receivers not on this list have caught a pass longer than 22 yards against the Browns in 2021. Interestingly, both of those guys (Andre Roberts and Nico Collins) play for Houston. Patrick has had at least three catches in each game, so those outliers are unlikely to pop up again tonight.

As mentioned, Patrick has had at least three receptions in each game. However, he averages just 4.2 catches on 5.7 targets per game, so your number of opportunities to crack this prop is minimal. Patrick has caught a pass of over 23 yards in just one game this season, with that grab coming against the hapless Jets when K.J. Hamler was still healthy, moving Patrick down the priority list for New York’s defense.

Patrick is likely to be a higher priority here against an already formidable pass defense with Hamler now on IR. Cleveland’s pass defense is just 21st in yards allowed per completion this season, but they jump to 9th best in the NFL when at home. Cleveland’s ninth ranked defense in terms of pass yardage allowed per game also happens to be the league’s best at home.

Patrick has done enough to warrant appropriate attention from his opponent here and is unlikely to haul in a pass over 20 yards, given that he has not caught a pass over 23 yards on the road yet this season, having done even that just once.

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Rashard Higgins Anytime Touchdown Scorer

The Browns will be without Kareem Hunt and are still uncertain if Nick Chubb will be ready to play Thursday night. They have the team’s leader in receiving yards, tight end David Njoku, listed as questionable. Their receiving group is uncertain, too, as Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. carry questionable tags into Wednesday for this one. Neither is likely to play.

With the league’s best rushing attack suddenly short on healthy backs and the team’s best receivers both in danger of missing this one with a huge division battle on this field against Pittsburgh next, guys like Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones have a great opportunity to see extra snaps and targets in this one.

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We chose Higgins over Peoples-Jones here, as Denver is more likely to key in on Peoples-Jones after his two touchdown performance on Sunday against Arizona. This could leave Higgins in the more favorable matchups Thursday night. After nothing in Week 1, Higgins caught each of his paltry two targets in Weeks 2 and 3. With Landry out, Higgins has been more involved, receiving 15 targets in his last three games and hauling in a touchdown in Week 5.

Higgins should have the opportunity to add to that total here with the instability of the running back situation. After all, Cleveland running backs scored 11 touchdowns in the first five games of the season, to just two for wide receivers, before Chubb and Hunt missed Game 6 time. Subsequently, the Browns failed to score using their backs, but instead saw their receivers haul in two scores.

Furthermore, Denver has allowed a wide receiver to score a touchdown in five of six games this season (except the shutout of the Jets), including four scores in the last three weeks.

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