The NFL Odds from early on Monday had the Lions as +3 ½ underdogs, but as the line has settled, this game has turned into a pick em. Who should we favor in this seemingly even matchup?
The Lions finished off the Jets rather easily in Week 1 of the preseason, while the Browns opened up with a nice win over the Rams. The Lions played their starters a little longer than the Jets, who were obviously looking more at their quarterback battle. Detroit played Matt Stafford and the offense a full two series, the final one ending in a field goal. I expect even more work for Stafford this week.
Now under the direction of Norv Turner on offense, the Browns succeeded in winning their first preseason game. Brandon Weeden led the team on a scoring drive in his first series, which spanned 67 yards. Even though he didn’t, and still likely wont have Trent Richardson on the field, the preseason is no place for an oft-injured young running back who is currently nursing a mild injury anyway. Weeden played the entire first quarter in that game, throwing 112 yards and a touchdown, and I see him possibly playing the entire first half in this one.
This week is much different however, because after facing a preseason apathetic in Jeff Fisher, now the Browns have the Lions coming to town, and Jim Schwartz has one of the best active preseason records of any coach.
After their Week 1 win, the Lions are 12-5 ATS and 13-4 SU in the preseason under Schwartz. They are 3-1 SU in Week 2 of the preseason, and a combined 10-2 SU in Weeks 2, 3 and 4 of the preseason. Needless to say, with a rookie head coach coming into a game where most coaches try to win, it doesn’t spell good news for the Browns.
After seeing the line from BetOnline open at +3 ½ and drop to a pick em’ game, it tells me some big early money could have come in on the Lions. Even though we no longer have the points to take, I think the Lions on the money line is the bet to go with in this one. I see the starters for both sides playing a majority of the first half, and if that is truly the case, this game favors the Lions even more. The Browns’ defense is solid, but against Megatron for a full quarter, I see the Lions getting into double figures before the half.
Also, check out my pick on the Falcons - Ravens game, here.
The Sharp Pick
Underdogs went 10-6 ATS in Week 1 of the preseason, and the Lions started off as +100 and even higher at +3 ½ underdogs in the early NFL Odds for this game. With that being said, I think we should take the Lions to win for our NFL picks. The preseason record of Schwartz is just too much to overlook, and I could see some regression this week against a tougher opponent than the Rams and Jeff Fisher for Cleveland.
My Pick: Lions -110 at Bet 365