The Cleveland Browns’ bandwagon appears to be significantly less full than it was at the start of the 2019 NFL season. All it took was a Week 1 loss and a less than inspiring Week 2 victory against an awful opponent for one of the league’s preseason darlings to face declining expectations.

Hosting the Los Angeles Rams on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 1, the Browns find themselves as three-point underdogs, according to the betting line at OddsShark. That means Cleveland is considered to be six points worse than Los Angeles on a neutral field, even though the two teams didn’t have very different Super Bowl odds at some sportsbooks before the season began.

A lot has changed over the last few weeks. The Browns were blown out by 30 points in their home opener. Baker Mayfield was picked off three times in that contest. The second-year quarterback wasn’t overly impressive in Week 2, completing fewer than 55 percent of his passes and posting a mediocre 83.6 passer rating.

Cleveland gave up 43 points to the Tennessee Titans. There’s nothing special about holding the New York Jets and their third-string quarterback to three points.

L.A. is the favorite in the NFC. The Rams have gone undefeated since losing in February’s Super Bowl, winning on the road in Carolina and defeating the New Orleans Saints, who had the conference’s best championship odds before Drew Brees got hurt.

There was no value in betting on the Browns when they were thought to be one of the AFC’s top contenders. Now that expectations have seemingly plummeted, it makes sense to pick a team that still has plenty of talent.

Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns
Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns walks off the field after a 26-20 win over the Carolina Panthers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Rams were somewhat fortunate to win their first two games, surviving average performances from Jared Goff and the offense. Los Angeles won’t be so lucky when they play nearly 2,500 miles away from home in front of a loud fanbase that is ready for the Browns to finally be a playoff contender again.

With two new starters on the offensive line, the unit hasn’t been able to protect Goff the way it did in the last two seasons when the Rams led the conference in points scored. The quarterback could face a lot of pressure on the road with the likes of Olivier Vernon, Larry Ogunjobi and Myles Garrett—he leads the NFL with five sacks—coming after him.

Mayfield is primed for his first good performance of the season. He’ll rise to the occasion in front of a national audience.

The Rams’ defense ranked 30th in average explosive pass rate in 2018, according to Los Angeles is first through two games this season, having allowed just one such play. The defending NFC champs could be in for a regression in that area Sunday with Odell Beckham Jr. on the opposing offense.

Home teams are 2-0 on “Sunday Night Football” to start the season. There’s a good chance that trend will continue in Week 3.

Prediction: Cleveland over Los Angeles, 27-20