It has been a very profitable pre-season for us here at The Sports Geek so far, and following another winner last night with the Redskins -3, we’re back at it for a Friday evening winner.
For tonight’s contest, we will turn our attention to Tampa Bay, where the upstart Buccaneers under coach Bruce Arians will be looking for an improved season. They will be hosting one of the most intriguing teams of the upcoming season in the Cleveland Browns. Many are expecting big things from the Browns this year, and following so many seasons of mediocrity – they definitely deserve some favorable things to break their way.
As mentioned previously, Week 3 of the pre-season is typically when coaches allow their starters to play the longest, so we should receive solid insight as to what both of these squads will look like come Week 1 of the regular season. Both Tampa and Cleveland have many fascinating personalities, and it should create a very intriguing exhibition game. Read on below the odds as we break down the match-up, and provide you with a winner for this evening’s contest.
Browns vs. Buccaneers Betting Odds:
Cleveland Browns -3 (-115)
@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3 (-105)
Over 42.5 (-105)
Under 42.5 (-115)
Browns vs. Buccaneers Pick:
Though many star players will suit up and take the field Friday night, at least two key wideouts will sit this one out. Odell Beckham Jr. (Browns) and Mike Evans (Buccaneers) will be absent, as both continue to recover from nagging injuries. It’s worth noting that both wide receivers are totally fine in terms of their Week 1 status.
Beyond that, we should get a pretty full lineup on both sides after listening to both Freddie Kitchens and Bruce Arians. The Browns will likely give their first-teamers their longest run yet, especially since Kitchens has already confirmed that his starters won’t play at all next week. Star QB Baker Mayfield has requested “at least a half” of playing time, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Mayfield lead the Browns for a full two quarters on Friday night.
For Tampa Bay, there are a bit more question marks about how long the Bucs’ first-teamers will go for. Bruce Arians has confirmed that they’ll play, but it doesn’t seem likely they get quite as long as Cleveland. One unit to watch will be Tampa’s defense as they take on a much-improved Browns’ offense. They’ve scored fast in both pre-season outings and if the Bucs’ defense isn’t ready for a first quarter challenge, they could be trailing quickly.
It seems like this pre-season continues to trend toward Cleveland and Friday night is no different. They are the healthier team and it seems like coach Kitchens values the time on the field for his starters more than Bruce Arians. Beyond the starters, Cleveland’s depth also reigns supreme. Blaine Gabbert is an awful QB and is expected to come in behind Jameis Winston for Tampa, while Mayfield can hand the ball off to veteran play-callers in Drew Stanton and Garrett Gilbert. The Browns will start hot, and their depth will propel them a third-straight pre-season win in Tampa
on Friday night.