The preseason comes to an end this week. In this game, old school foes the Browns and the Bears match up in Cleveland for one last go-round before the regular season. How do football odds makers cap a game in which none of the starters will probably see action?
NFL odds makers favor the Browns in this game by -3 ½ with a total of 37 points. Like most teams with Super Bowl aspirations this
year, the Bears probably won’t be trying too hard for a win in this one. The
Bears didn’t even play most of their starters in Week 1 of the preseason, and I
expect them to do the same here in Week 4.
Browns are still trying to get rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden acclimated to
the offense while the Bears are just looking forward to getting their hands on
the Colts in Week 1 of the regular season. So, should we focus on the trends,
or go with our gut in this one?
coach Lovie Smith has never put much stock in the
preseason. Since hiring Smith in 2004, the Bears are 18-18 SU in the preseason, and since 2008, they are 8-11 SU in the preseason. If it didn’t show by their
preseason Week 1 showing, the Bears want to play real football.
Fearing injury to key players like Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, I wouldn’t be
surprised if Lovie played this one just like he did a few weeks ago. The Bears
are have higher hopes this season than at any time since their Super Bowl appearance back in
2006. Plus, Lovie is kind of on the hot seat.
general manager Phil Emery was told that he had permission to fire Lovie after
this season if things went south, so Smith needs a good season more than anyone. Management would not be pleased if he got one of his star players hurt
in an exhibition game a week before the start of the regular season. I doubt
the starters play at all.
Browns looking for success
be tough to be a Browns fan. I’m sure lots of alcohol at the games helps, but
the Browns haven't been relevant in my lifetime, not to mention in that of football fans older than me. It’s yet another new era in Cleveland, but the Browns have high hopes for their
two main rookies, Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson.
is still recovering from an August 9 new scope and won’t play.
Weeden, on the other hand, will probably see some time on the field at the
very least. Weeden had every opportunity to show his skills last week against
the Eagles, but he couldn’t get it going. He completed only 9-20 passes for 117
yards. He was also sacked three times for 25 yards, something that all rookies
have to get over quickly if they’re going to start.
The Sharp Pick
though home teams have been awful this preseason, I have to side with the
Browns in this one. There are too many reasons for the Bears to lay down
in this game while the Browns need this game to get in as much sync for the
regular season as possible.
Pick: Browns -3 ½