In defense of yet another profitable NFL campaign, I begin my quest for more profits in 2017 tonight. Well, kind of, it’s the NFL Preseason. It’s more of a warming up process for everyone, including players, coaches, management, and football bettors. As such, I like to play these games lightly. There is no good use blowing through your bankroll in the preseason before the regular season begins.
I like to pull back on baseball in August-September as well, with the MLB postseason nearing and the beginning of the regular season of the NFL and college football. The NFL Preseason is degenerate heaven, and the end of the MLB season things can get a little wacky.
That isn’t to say you can’t win money off the NFL Preseason. In fact, I have several times in the past. The losses tend to sting more in the preseason, for me anyway, so I don’t like pushing the envelope. I know a few of you have thought to yourself why the hell am I betting on a preseason game after a loss.
In the preseason, it’s best to look at quarterback rotations. Starters in Week 1 of the preseason will get one series. That’s typically how it goes. Spreads come down to guys trying to make the team. So, in that sense, there is a lot of motivation to be had in preseason games. Most guys are fighting for a job; this is their Super Bowl.
Note that I will be taking care of home games in the AFC. Will has you covered in the NFC. The storyline in Cleveland tonight is all about Brock Osweiler. Exciting, isn’t it? You have to reach for storylines when it comes to preseason games, and tonight all eyes will be on what Osweiler is going to do. Spoiler for anyone that hasn’t watched Osweiler: he isn’t any good and it’s not going to get any better for him with the Browns.
Osweiler has problems breaking down a defense and reading it. When he finds an opening, he tends to get to excited and sails the ball or skips it short of his intended target. Going to a dysfunctional organization isn’t going to fix anything, in my humble opinion. The Browns released their first depth chart the other day, with Osweiler coming out on top as the starter. By no means is that final.
Behind him is Cody Kessler and rookie DeShone Kizer. College football fans will remember Kizer from Notre Dame. I was never really impressed by him as a Fighting Irish, and in the NFL I have my doubts. Trying to cling on to a roster spot 4th on the depth chart is former Stanford product, Kevin Hogan. Kessler and Kizer haven’t shown much in camp, so Osweiler may win the quarterback battle by default. Scroll down for my info on my first NFL Preseason pick of the year, featuring the New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns.
New Orleans Saints vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Odds:
@ Browns -3(-120)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Saints vs. Browns Pick:
The Browns are going to be punch-less on offense this season. That’s the prediction of the season, but jeez, their cupboard is bare. The quarterback situation isn’t ideal, and then elsewhere it isn’t pretty either. Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt line up opposite one another. Coleman is in his second season, coming off a 413-yard and 3 touchdown effort as a rookie. Then there is Britt who is coming off a fine year with the Rams, 1002 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Nevertheless, Britt is not a true number 1 in my eyes, and Coleman has some growing up to do still. Britt has had problems on and off the field in the past, I don’t like him pairing up with Coleman, at all. They also spent a first-round selection on a tight end, David Njoku, who hasn’t had the best camp and is already battling a back injury. He will not be participating in this matchup against the Saints. Other high draft picks include Jabrill Peppers, who is listed behind Derrick Kindred at safety.
The Saints will once again head into this season with Drew Brees at the reins. Brees will get a series in this game, but there isn’t any reason to give him more work. The Saints added Adrian Peterson in the offseason, as he looks to get back to form. If he stays healthy, I think he will have opportunities to put up decent numbers. Peterson will not be counted on to carry the load, they still have Mark Ingram in the backfield. It could prove to be a powerful 1-2 punch if both can stay on the field.
Following Brees tonight will be Chase Daniels and Garrett Grayson. The Saints did spend a relatively high draft pick on Grayson in 2015, but he’s done absolutely nothing. He was cut in 2016 and then resigned to the practice squad, that’s the extent of his NFL career. I don’t think it’s much of a quarterback battle, Daniels should keep his backup job here. While the Saints’ defense isn’t going to be good this season, I don’t think the reserves will look bad against the Browns’ offense.
There are some second-string defenses in the NFL that could handle the Browns’ starters, never mind the backups. The Browns like playing in low scoring games, it doesn’t matter if it’s the regular season or preseason. In their last three Week 1 preseason games, the final scores were 17-11, 20-17, and 13-12. Conversely, though, the Saints have eclipsed the 38-point mark in three of their previous Week 1 preseason outings. However, I think in this spot, the Browns are going to ugly this game up and it results in a low-scoring final score.
Grayson, Kessler, and Kizer will be the death of the OVER. Kizer has potential, but the Browns didn’t spend a pick on him to come into August playing with the 3rd unit. He was awful in a recent scrimmage, and his role as a third-stringer reflects that. Yes, Kessler has been bad, too. Obviously not a big play, but we’ll look for a winning preseason pick on the UNDER on Thursday.
PICK: UNDER 38 (-110)