Browns vs Commanders Odds, Pick, Prediction for NFL Preseason
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Sam Howell.
Browns vs. Commanders Odds
There's reason to believe there may be more points scored tonight in Cleveland, based on the Commanders vs. Browns odds and my pick.
Sam Howell will start for Washington and will be relieved by Jacoby Brissett, who played well last season for the Commanders' opponents. Deshaun Watson is expected to start for Cleveland, which won its first preseason game last week in the Hall of Fame Game.
The Commanders made national news this week. I believe that storyline will factor into how the offense performs tonight.
New offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy was brought in to revamp a woeful Commanders offense that has ranked 28th and 21st in DVOA over the past two seasons. There are few better suited to accomplish that feat, as Bieniemy established himself as one of the NFL’s elite offensive minds during his time in Kansas City.
We’ll get the first glimpse at how Washington is progressing when it squares off against the Browns, but there are reasons to think they’ll put up points against Cleveland.
The Commanders are placing all their eggs in quarterback Sam Howell’s basket, handing over the reins to the 2022 fifth-round pick. We don’t know how many series he will play tonight, but I’m not sure it really matters. While offenses tend to be vanilla in the preseason, Washington may be an exception as they simply need the reps in a completely new system.
If that wasn’t enough, Head Coach Ron Rivera admittedly “put my foot in my mouth” when he told reporters players had “concerns” over Bieniemy’s style and intensity. He later clarified that he meant in addition to a brand-new scheme, Bieniemy’s vocal nature and attention to detail is in stark contrast to the past. That takes some getting used to but Rivera noted that while the offense struggled early in training camp, their last few practices have been outstanding ahead of this game. That also leads me to believe that Washington might have extra juice to prove it can handle the coaching staff’s lofty expectations after Rivera’s comments made national news.
Bet Washington vs. Cleveland at FanDuel
On the flip side, this is already Cleveland’s second preseason game after it beat the Jets 21-16 in last week’s Hall of Fame Game. The Browns defense impressed, holding New York to only 188 yards, but that was against Jets backups so there’s not much to be gleaned there.
Commanders vs. Browns
Betting Picks & Predictions
I’m someone who uses a combination of trends, patterns, analytics and my gut when making bets. However, in this case, I’m relying mainly on a hunch that Washington’s offense will dig into their playbook to master a new system. That’s something rarely seen in the preseason.
I also don’t think it matters how much the starters play compared to those fighting for a spot on the back end of the roster. The Washington second-stringers are in more than capable hands under backup Jacoby Brissett. He’s established himself as a bona fide NFL quarterback, more than holding his own as Cleveland’s starter a year ago before Watson’s return.
If it isn’t obvious by now, I’m primarily trusting my gut on this one, which alone can be a risky proposition. However, if you’re jonesing for action in tonight’s game, feel free to follow the same logic and roll with Washington scoring more than 17.5 points, which is available at DraftKings.