Trends Pointing To Under When Buccaneers Face Lowly Browns On Friday Night

Peyton Barber

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 2:43 PM GMT

With the Browns' disappointing ATS record, their game against the Buccaneers offers a lot of value on the Under while backing the Tampa Bay. Our handicapper provides his insight and his free NFL Pick.

The Cleveland Browns have been somewhat disappointing Against The Spread the L4 NFL Regular Seasons and with  an 0-2  ATS mark this Preseason, a run of 12 Point Spread Losses in their L13 games overall and host Tampa Bay playing its first Home game this August, this seems like a great spot to back the hosts and lay the minimal lumber. Let’s look at how these two teams did in Preseason Weeks 1 and 2 as well as look at all of the other handicapping info for a game between teams who have struggled over the last decade.

 

Cleveland Browns vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
The Cleveland Browns (0-2) head south to Tampa and Raymond James Stadium on Friday night to face the Buccaneers in an inter-conference Preseason Week 3 affair from the Sunshine State. On Monday, Offshore sportsbooks opened up host Tampa Bay (1-1) from 3-point to 4-point favorites with the Total in the contest now at 41½  to 42. NFL Odds also have the Money Line see Tampa Bay priced at -205 with Robert Griffin III and Cleveland priced at +173 on the takeback. The Cleveland Browns Total Team Points has been set at 18½ with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team Total Points set at 22½.

 

Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns and 1st-year Head Coach Hue Jackson have tied their wagon to suspect QB Robert Griffin III for now—the team’s 25th QB since 1999—and so far this Preseason, the Browns have scored a total of just 24 points in Losses to the Packers in Preseason Week 1 at Lambeau Field and in preseason Week 2 to the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. So, two covers from Browns opponents and two Unders—though just barely—and this third game won’t be easy with the Buccaneers always underrated a bit.

In the Browns loss to the Falcons, Griffin III did look pretty good, throwing two 1st Half TD Passes as Cleveland took a 13-10 lead into the locker room at Halftime but that would be it for the Browns on Offense and the Falcons scored a TD in both the 3rd and 4th Quarters to seal the victory and improve to 2-0. Josh McCown also got some sets of downs in for the Browns, as did Cody Kessler. Griffin III led all Browns' Rushers in the game with 36 on 3 attempts with Terrell Watson and Isaiah Crowell having minor output games while the Cleveland Receiving attack was led by former Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor of all people with Gary Barnidge , Terrell Watson, and Duke Johnson all having a couple catches. Derrick Kindred (6 tackles) and Christian Kirksey (5 receptions) led the Browns Defense.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Whereas the Browns traded in Mike Pettine for Jackson, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent Head Coach Lovie Smith packing and have brought in Dirk Koetter to try to set a course for a better Future, and so far this Preseason in two Road games, Tampa Bay has done about what you thought it would do, losing to the Eagles in Philadelphia in Preseason Week 1, and then topping their Sunshine State friends, the Jaguars last week in Jacksonville in Preseason Week 2, to set the tone for this Preseason Week 3 Home opener at Raymond James on Friday night. At the QB position for the Buccaneers 2nd-year man Jameis Winston didn’t play particularly well while Mike Glennon did with Ryan Griffin having an average performance for the Swashbucklers in the victory.

The Buccaneers were led in Rushing by Auburn Rookie Peyton Barber, Storm Johnson, and Charles Sims, but Doug Martin will be the feature RB for Tampa Bay with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson again the starting WRs and this may be the week they all finally get some attention and footballs. And besides having some promise at the key Offensive Skill Positions (QB, RB, WR), the Buccaneers went out and drafted Florida State PK Roberto Aguayo in the 3rd Round of the NFL Draft, and on Tuesday, the Rookie banged home a 50-plus yard kick to end practice early with new HC Koetter cutting the deal that if Aguayo made it, practice was over. And he did. So, loose is a good thing, as is having a talented kid from a nearby football-savvy university who now should give Tampa Bay (+750 to win NFC at GTBets) solid threats at all Offensive Skill spots.

 

Tampa Weather Forecast Friday Night, Team and Totals Trends, Browns a Pathetic 1-12 Their L13 ATS
The Weather forecast from The Weather Channel for Tampa on Friday night is currently calling for Partly Cloudy conditions with a Low of 76°, NE Winds of 5 to 10 mph with 84% Humidity, so wonderful for some NFL Football. And on Grass (Raymond James Stadium) to boot. The last time these two teams played in the Regular Season was in 2015 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland where the Browns won, 22-17, but failed to cover as 7-points chalks (44) while the Buccaneers Won and covered or pushed the previous three meetings. The last Regular Season cover by the Browns in this series came all the way back in 1996 where the Browns won 22-6 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium (CLE -8, 37). So, the Buccaneers have gone a perfect 4-0 ATS the L4 meetings with the Browns in the Regular Season with the Under and eye-catching 5-0 the L5 meetings. And the L6 Browns Preseason games (2015, 2016) have all gone Under the Total, with 38 points the highest number of points having been scored, with Cleveland going 1-5 ATS over that span, with an average of just 31.0 ppg having been scored in the L6 Browns Preseason games heading into Friday night:

 

2016 NFL Preseason Week 1—@ GB 17 CLE 11 (PK—L, 35—Under)

2016 NFL Preseason Week 2—ATL 24 @ CLE 14 (CLE -2—L, 38—Under)

2015 NFL Preseason Week 4—@ CHI 24 CLE 0 (CHI -1—L, 37½—Under)

2015 NFL Preseason Week 3—CLE 31 @ TB 7 (TB -2½—W, 40—Under)

2015 NFL Preseason Week 2—BUF 11 @ CLE 10 (CLE -2½—L, 39½—Under)

2015 NFL Preseason Week 1—WASH 20 @ CLE 17 (PK—L, 38—Under)

 

So, although they don’t meet that often, the Trends here support backing the host Buccaneers as well as the Under here. Tampa Bay will be looking to not only please the Home crowd in the opener—as well as not lose to the lowly Browns—but to exact some small measure of Revenge for last season’s Preseason Loss here at Raymond James. SBR Sports Picks has the Browns 2-5 ATS their L7 games on Grass and the Under 5-0 the L5 Cleveland games on the Road and the Under 4-0 the L4 Browns games on Grass (Raymond James Stadium) although the Over is 7-3 ATS the L10 Buccaneers games on Grass and Tampa Bay is a woeful 18-40-1 ATS the L59 Home games (30.5%). But these are the 2016 Cleveland Browns the Bucs are playing and this is a nervous team which has rewarded those fading them 12 of out the last 13 games dating back to last Regular Season. And that’s really saying something.

 

Predicted Final Score: Buccaneers 23 Browns 13
Preseason Record: 1-1-0
Free NFL Pick: Buccaneers -3.5 (-115) 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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Free NFL Pick: 41.5 -102
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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