The NFL Odds for this matchup are an even pick em’, with a total of only 41 points. Let’s take a deeper look into this game and see where we can find value for Week 1 of the NFL season.
The Browns brought in Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner to run the Browns this season, and I think it will end up being a really good hire. Chudzinski used to coach with the Browns several years ago, and Turner of course has head coaching experience coming into being the offensive coordinator in Cleveland. Turner’s offense should do wonders for the likes of Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson especially. With the exception of their preseason Week 3 hiccup, the Browns’ offense has looked much better than their stagnant excuse for an offense a year ago. While they will be without their star receiver, Josh Gordon for this game, I still think we could see some high powered offense coming from Cleveland.
The Dolphins are entering their second year under Joe Philbin, and they have blindly stocked up on talent this offseason in an effort to try and compete in the AFC East. Although their spending spree wasn’t as productive as they would have hoped, they did bring in several playmakers on both sides of the ball. Mike Wallace will likely feast in this game against a vulnerable Browns secondary, and if Ryan Tannehill can take that next step as a young quarterback in the NFL, this team will go as far as he can take them.
In this game, I think both of these second year quarterbacks will want to show off their new system and weapons. Both defenses are good, but the secondaries of both teams have shown some weakness during the preseason. Both of these defenses are still evolving, and with a new system in Cleveland, things might be a little shaky at first on that side of the ball. Offense normally trumps defense in the first week or two of the NFL season, and I think that may be the result in this game.
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The Sharp Pick
For starters, these two teams averaged around 19 points per game last season, and both have made tremendous strides on the offensive end. I would be really surprised if they averaged below 20 points per game again this season, and with a total of only 41 points, I think the NFL Odds are discounting the improvements both of these offenses have made.
All that is needed for the total to go over is 3 touchdowns from each team, or two touchdowns and two field goals for each, and in Week 1, I don’t think that’s asking too much. Last season in Week 1, the ‘Over; was 9-7, and in the first two weeks of the season, the total went 18-14 in favor of the ‘Over’. Teams that are learning new defensive schemes will be behind, and with the new offense in Cleveland, the ‘Over’ for this game seems to be the best value play for our NFL picks.
My Pick: ‘Over’ 41 at 5 Dimes