NFL Picks: Browns vs. Bears Preseason Week 4

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:51 PM GMT

A battle of first-year head coaches will take place at Soldier Field Thursday, as the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears will finish out their preseason schedules.


Let’s take a closer look at the NFL betting odds for this non-conference matchup in Week 4, with the opening kick-off scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET. Who's the best value for our preseason NFL picks this week?

A step backward

Cleveland was feeling pretty good about itself after opening up its 2013 preseason schedule with a pair of victories over the St. Louis Rams and the Detroit Lions, but it was handed a 27-6 defeat by the Indianapolis Colts as two-point road underdogs last Saturday.

The Browns were outgained by 94 yards in the contest, while falling ‘Under’ the betting total of 43.

Experimenting with pressure

Chicago has won its last two exhibition contests since dropping its opener against the Carolina Panthers, as it comes off a 34-26 victory over the Oakland Raiders as four-point road favorites last Friday, while going ‘Over’ cashed for a third consecutive time.

The Bears are experimenting with pressure on the defensive end, as the unit has tallied just five sacks from non-defensive linemen over the past two years.

Sending out the first team

Sports bettors need to take a cautious approach when navigating the pro football odds board this week, as most teams don’t play their starters in the final tune-up leading into the regular season.

Cleveland first-year head coach Rod Chudzinski is leaning towards playing some of his first-team members—something that has starting quarterback Brandon Weeden ready to run the huddle if called upon Thursday.

Weeden completed 72 percent of his throws in the first two games, but connected on just 12 of 25 passes in a subpar performance last time out.

Offensive line is still a question mark

The Bears are worth a gamble in the NFL futures market if the offensive line is able to perform at a respectable level, but insiders are concerned about the unit starting a pair of rookies on the right side to protect quarterback Jay Cutler.

Chicago first-year head coach Marc Trestman won’t have to worry about Cutler’s health in this affair, as backup Jordan Palmer has been named the starter, while the team anticipates resting most of its frontline players.

 [gameodds]16/227822/?r3=349/dec&r-1=349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Browns in this spot for their sports picks, as they possess a more experienced group of backup signal-callers with Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer listed behind Weeden on the depth chart.

NFL Pick: Bet the Cleveland Browns -2 at William Hill

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