NFL Parlay and Best Bet for Broncos at Browns: Thursday Night Football (Week 7)

Oct 20, 2021 - 8:52 PM

Parlay bets are a fun way to build your bankroll fast. However, the extra rewards come with extra risk — if you aren’t careful, parlays will burn through your bankroll faster than you can break even.

Fortunately, DraftKings offers users a $25 risk-free bet on NFL same-game parlays. So with nothing to lose (and bankroll to gain), how should you attack Thursday night’s action? For starters, expect to see me feature quite a few overs in this column. Since 2017, the over has hit in 60% of games played on Thursday; in 2020, it hit 57.1% of the time. I suspect that’s due to a lack of adequate rest and preparation, both of which make life hard for defensive players.

I advise that you approach this column as a strong parlay that features a handful of smart straight bets. I’ll include recommended unit sizes for each play, along with a recommended parlay size. NOTE: DraftKings Sportsbook’s same-game parlay feature uses lines that are not available as single-wager markets.

Get a $25 risk-free bet on an NFL same-game parlay at DraftKings >>

Parlay YTD: 2-4-0 (-0.34u)
Straight Bets YTD: 6-3-0 (+0.63u)
All NFL Bets YTD: 19-18-0 (-2.5u)

Leg #1. Broncos 1H +6.5

Leg #2. 1H Under 26.5

Related Straight Bet: N/A

I’m taking a bit of a different approach because of how genuinely terrible Thursday night’s game is starting to look.

Let’s start with Cleveland. The Browns won’t have their starting quarterback, Baker Mayfield, or their top two running backs, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Their two starting tackles, Jedrick Wills Jr. and Jack Conklin, are questionable — but they only managed to practice once (and in a limited capacity) this week. Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are both questionable, too.

Things get a little better when we flip to Denver, but not by much. The Broncos were already without several receiving weapons, and now quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is questionable. So is his left tackle, Garett Boles. While both players should suit up on Thursday, nagging health concerns could flare up mid-game or limit their play.

That said, we’re riding the Broncos against a teased first-half spread here because they have a massive advantage in the health department.

Leg #3. Broncos +7.5

Leg #4. Under 47.5

Related Straight Bet: Broncos ML (+110 at DK Sportsbook)
Straight Bet Size: .5u

We’re riding with the full-game spread and under for the same reasons I enumerated above. That said, there are a few more reasons to play these lines beyond the injuries.

First, these are two of the NFL’s slowest teams. Cleveland ranks fourth-slowest in seconds per play. Denver ranks sixth-slowest. Interestingly, Cleveland plays its fastest when up by more than a touchdown (and Denver plays its fastest when down by the same amount), but these teams are unlikely to find themselves in such a situation on Thursday.

Next, Cleveland is a run-first team (they rank third in rushing play percentage) without its best two running backs. Kareem Hunt ranks 16th in defense-adjusted yards above expected (DYAR) and Nick Chubb ranks 19th. Last season, Hunt ranked 24th and Chubb ranked third. Cleveland will replace these two with some combination of D’Ernest Johnson, Demetric Fleton, and John Kelly. Johnson’s 33 carries don’t qualify him for a ranking in that metric, but he recorded a single DYAR on all those attempts, which doesn’t bode well for Cleveland’s offense. Meanwhile, Kelly’s last notable NFL stats came in 2018, and he recorded -15 DYAR on 27 carries with the Rams that season. Some analysts have pointed to Demetric Felton as Cleveland’s best hope, but his contributions have exclusively come through the air thus far.

Lastly, Case Keenum has won by more than a touchdown just twice in his 24 starts since leaving the Vikings. I don’t expect him to record his third such performance against a ferocious Broncos defense led by Von Miller.

Total Odds: +140 at DraftKings

Parlay Bet Size: 1u

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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