Betting NFL Preseason Week 2: We Have Browns Grounding Dirty Birds

Doug Upstone

Monday, August 15, 2016 6:35 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 6:35 PM UTC

Atlanta will leave the comforts of the Georgia Dome to head to northern Ohio to face perpetually rebuilding Cleveland, with the Browns having a quite a bit of turnover including the new head coach.

Atlanta Falcons vs Cleveland Browns
The Falcons won and covered against Washington 23-17 as three-point home favorites, largely due to the start of the second half kickoff return for the touchdown, while Cleveland never got going in 17-11 loss at Green Bay, after being flipped to one-point favorites on game day.

Carrying a 79-54 ATS, 59.3 percent record in the last 13 years of NFL preseason football, this is how I am breaking down this Week 2 contest for NFL picks.


Falcons Foresights 
Though Atlanta won the game, many questions remained looking ahead. It is not the time to overreact, nonetheless, Matt Ryan was 0-4 in two series and players like receiver Julio Jones were already coming out and defending their starting quarterback. What to watch for in this contest is if the Falcons are really as committed to throwing down the field as they claim. Receiver Aldrick Robinson showed promise and might be winning the battle to be the third receiver in multiple packages and could be another deep threat along with Jones.

Both lines did not distinguish themselves or come away looking awful, but the general lack of pass rush was still very noticeable. Long time veteran Dwight Freeney is hoped to be answered in third down situations, lets see if he is the guy or others emerge to help make Atlanta a contender to Carolina in the NFC South.

Backup QB Matt Schaub looked very comfortable in this offense  (10-15 passing, 179 yards), which was his best performance in years, be it in August or the regular season. This is good road test for Dirty Birds.


Browns Business 
It was the start of the Hue Jackson era for Cleveland and it an obvious a few weeks of practice is not going to solve all of the Browns woes. In allowing 17 points to Green Bay, four were via a pair of safeties, including QB Cody Kessler going out the backdoor of the end zone for one of them. (Good spot to write comment)

Robert Griffin all is no longer worthy of a nickname and he was a mixture of fair to poor in his Cleveland debut. No matter, Griffin is Jackson signal caller until he is not and Jackson made it clear after the game the interception like RG3 threw will not be tolerated.

Former Ohio State QB Aaron Pryor continues to evolve as a wide receiver and with this team, could end up as the starter or quite possibly their third pass-catching option.

For this encounter, you know about what to expect from second-stringer Josh McCown and more of the regular starters should be in the lineup for Cleveland. If Atlanta is trying to push the pigskin down the field, how will the Browns 31st ranked pass defense in yards per attempt hold up?


Odds and What to Look For
The opening NFL odds had Cleveland at -2.5 with the total of 37. Atlanta would appear to have quarterbacks edge and probably is a little more disciplined at this point, but coach Jackson really wants to make this work after rotten experience in Oakland and will want the fans on his side from the get-go.

Expect the Browns to play with fervor and have more passion, especially being at Tampa Bay next week. Grab the -2.5, with Cleveland winning by 7.


Free NFL Pick: Browns -2.5 -106
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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