Both the Browns and Buccaneers are in rebuilding modes and will be looking to get off on the right track with a win Sunday afternoon (1 PM EST) at Raymond James Stadium. These two teams have met twice since the Browns were reintroduced to the league and the Buccaneers have won both of those contests. It will be surely hot in the sunshine state at the time of kickoff and both teams will be gunning for opening week wins to set their seasons in motion.
The Cleveland Browns went out after the conclusion of last season and brought in football czar Mike Holmgren to “right the ship” and return this franchise to respectability. They had a very impressive draft bringing in the likes of shutdown CB Joe Haden and FS T.J. Ward to shore up the secondary, they also fared very well in free agency and brought in QB Jake Delhomme who is looking to reestablish himself as a legitimate commodity. The Browns seem to finally have an identity, a hard nose, “grind it out” type of team that will be able to bear the elements on the shores of Lake Erie. The Browns also received excellent news earlier this week when it was announced that Pro Bowl NT Shaun Rogers was coming off the PUP list and will be activated for week 1. The Browns will not be competing for the AFC North crown this winter but they will be a competitive bunch that will stick around late in games and might even steal one or two.
The red and pewter club from Tampa is looking to build upon their dismal 3-13 effort last season. Head Coach Raheem Morris is entering his second season at the helm and needs to get his defense back to the notoriety it held early in this decade. In doing that the Bucs went out and drafted two DT’s in this years draft, highly touted Gerald McCoy and a steal in the 2nd round Brian Price. The offense is this teams weakest link, they averaged 16 points in the preseason a game, good for 25th in the league. The offensive line needs to be rebuilt, but by resigning LT Donald Penn this off-season shows they still believe they can revive this bunch. The only bright spot for an otherwise dismal looking team is CB Aqib Talib who is a Pro Bowl caliber player and can match up against any wide receiver in this league, but he wont be back until the 3rd week serving a suspension. I have strong doubts whether this team can surpass or even match their win total from last year, it will take exceptional will and effort for a team that is deficient in talent.
Exclusive $250 Free Money Bonus for NFL Betting – Click Here To Learn More
Browns vs Buccaneers Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Cleveland Browns +3
@Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3
Not sure how to read betting odds? Check out our Sports Betting Odds Explained article to learn how.
Browns vs Bucs Prediction:
Spread Prediction (Top Play) – I believe the Buccaneers have more questions than answers coming into this season and I believe QB Josh Freeman might be one of the most over hyped and illegitimate starting pivots in this league. I expect the Browns to serve the Buccaneers a steady dose of Jerome Harrison and Peyton Hillis in the running game and I believe Josh Cribbs is truly ready to establish himself as a “go-to” wide receiver and we will see it in this game. It also is wise to add that QB Jake Delhomme knows the Bucs very well as he played them twice a year while with the Panthers and he now wants to prove to the league that he is still an elite signal caller. Not only are we taking the points in this game but also I like the men from northern Ohio to win this one straight up. Play on the Browns. TOP PLAY PREDICTION – BROWNS +3
Over/Under Prediction – This total is right where we would expect it in this match. The public is all over the over in this game, which tends to scare me. I still believe that both teams have a lot of kinks to work out before we see any of them put up the points. I look for a low scoring affair and we will see this game stay under the total.