cardinals browns player props picks
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

The lone remaining undefeated team in the NFL heads to Cleveland to take on a Browns bunch without running back Nick Chubb that will feel it is two plays away from a perfect record itself. Cleveland, playing the first of three straight home games, enters play at 3-2 instead, but may have the best shot yet to knock off the Arizona Cardinals.

Let’s jump into this marquee Sunday matchup with a look at our best Cardinals vs. Browns player props picks.

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The Top Cardinals vs. Browns Player Props Picks

Kareem Hunt Anytime Touchdown Scorer

With Nick Chubb downgraded to Out for this Sunday’s game, the lion’s share of the backfield responsibilities for Cleveland now sits squarely in Kareem Hunt’s lap. Hunt was already highly productive in his backup role this season, rushing 55 times for 295 yards and catching 17 of his 21 targets in the passing game for 149 yards. His five touchdowns are actually one better than Chubb’s season total and also stands as a team high as well as the joint-second highest rushing touchdown total in the league .

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Hunt will be spearheading the league’s top rushing attack in this one and should get ample opportunities to cross the goal line. After all, his Browns are the league’s seventh best scoring offense (28.4 points per game) and they square off against the NFL’s fourth highest scoring team (31.4 points per game). Oddsmakers expect around 50 points scored here and Hunt will almost certainly be involved in at least one of the touchdowns.

Cleveland has 11 scores by backs this season, including three each in its last two games. The Browns have scored 11 times on the ground, as well, with nine of those touchdowns tallied by their two running backs. Again, with Chubb gone, Hunt will be the only likely choice for run plays inside the red zone.

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Arizona’s defense has been excellent at keeping opposing running backs from scoring rushing touchdowns this season, but with Hunt, you have to factor in his 3.4 catches per game, as well. And, the Cardinals have allowed seven passing touchdowns already in 2021, including four in the last two weeks.

Rondale Moore Anytime Touchdown Scorer

This is very solid value for Arizona’s dynamic rookie wide receiver. After all, Rondale Moore, despite just entering the league and being part of a loaded receiver room, is already second amongst Arizona receivers in receptions, third in targets, and third in yards. He is also the team’s primary kickoff and punt returner, giving him a few added opportunities to score each time out.

Moore is particularly appealing as a scoring threat in this game for a couple reasons. First, DeAndre Hopkins’ health and availability for this matchup are severely in doubt. If he misses, A.J. Green likely garners the most attention from the opposing secondary, all while Moore sees more offensive snaps.

Next, Moore is a yards after catch genius. He currently sits third in the NFL in YAC with 228 of his 270 receiving yards coming after the ball is in his hands. And, that’s how Arizona likes to integrate him into its gameplan. Coach Kingsbury finds ways to get the ball to Moore all over the field. He has 21 catches, six rushes, three kickoff returns, and eight punt returns. That means he is touching the ball nearly eight times a game already in his young career, an extremely high number for a rookie receiver.

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As a bonus, Cleveland is susceptible to plays centered around YAC. The Browns may boast the league’s 11th least passing yards per game allowed (223.2 ypg), but they give up the 19th most yards after the catch per game (116.6 ypg). That disparity will certainly tip off Arizona to utilize its rookie Swiss Army Knife whenever possible here.

Keep in mind, Arizona has already thrived on scoring the ball using its wide receivers. The Cardinals’ wideouts have caught nine touchdowns already this season, including seven in the last two weeks alone. Their opposition has allowed six touchdowns through the air to receivers, as well. Moore could see his greatest number of touches this season in this one and should have a great chance to score.

James Conner Longest Rush Under 10.5 Yards

James Conner’s role on this Arizona team has become pretty transparent. His yards per carry in 2021 is easily the lowest of his career, but the Cardinals don’t care, because they are winning football games and Conner keeps opponents honest with respect to the run, while also giving Arizona an option around the goal line that doesn’t involve putting Kyler Murray at risk.

This has been proven repeatedly in 2021 as Conner is tied for second in the league in rushing touchdowns, all of which were scored from inside the five. In fact, four of those scores came from just one yard out.

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Conner only averages 12.6 rushes for 40.2 yards per game. His longest rush in each game is as follows: eight yards, nine yards, 11 yards, 10 yards, and eight yards. In other words, just one of Conner’s 63 rushes this season would have cracked this prop bet.

Making life more difficult for Conner here is the fact that he is facing one of the league’s best rush defenses. The Cleveland Browns have allowed the second fewest rushing yards per game this season (75.6). Knowing this, similar to many teams’ approach to playing Tampa Bay’s rush defense, opponents have begun to abandon the run altogether against the Browns, attempting just 22.0 rushes per game against them, the sixth fewest. With Kyler Murray under center, the league’s leader in passing percentage, it’s highly possible Arizona employs a similar approach against Cleveland’s rush defense which allows just 3.4 yards per carry, the third best mark in the NFL.

The Browns have not allowed a run over 16 yards this season. Lead backs have only had two rushes longer than this prop bet against them in 2021, as well. It’s hard to believe a guy who has one rush of 11 yards or more this season is going to suddenly break through against this elite run-stuffing unit.

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