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NFL Betting: Johnny Manziel’s First Preseason Game Will Dominate The Headlines

Posted by Stan Simmons on 7/31/2014 11:13:02 PM

After a loud and unceasingly colorful offseason, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel will take the field in a live game for the first time as an NFL player on Saturday night in Detroit. While it’s important to not overreact to this game, you know a lot of people will. It will be a time for two teams to work out a lot of kinks and begin the load road to the regular season opener.

Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions – Saturday, August 9

Sports betting line: Lions -2.5

Why Cleveland Will Win

This is a situation in which the Browns could become the attractive betting choice primarily because they have so many reasons to be upset at the rest of the NFL, not to mention the media and other circumstances. The Browns have seen receiver Josh Gordon fall in trouble with the league over the taking of prohibited substances. That hasn’t sat well with the Browns, who have been deprived of a major player for an offense that has been viewed as more punishment-worthy than what Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens did to his (now) wife. The Browns’ players might be angry at that whole set of events. They are also probably angry at how Johnny Manziel has been treated by the media, with radio and television stations (plus ESPN and other cable networks) viewing every little action as worthy of a long commentary and a definitive verdict on Manziel’s level of professionalism. You can imagine that Browns players are really tired of all the distractions and the media coverage that have been thrown in their direction. The team could bust out of the tunnel on Saturday night and take its frustrations out on the Lions.

The other obvious reason to take Cleveland is that Detroit is breaking in a new coaching staff, with Jim Caldwell taking over for Jim Schwartz. The Lions might be good later in the preseason, and they might do well in the regular season, but right now, they’re probably going to need more time to be organized and find a solid rhythm.

Why Detroit Will Win

When online football betting analysts look at this game, they’re going to notice that Cleveland is also coming into the season with a new coaching staff. The Browns have the added disadvantage of having had just one season under former coach Rob Chudzinski, meaning that Cleveland is working on its third coaching staff in three seasons. That’s terrible for a set of players. When you also factor in Josh Gordon’s absence and a couple of injuries to the team’s offensive line, the Browns are operating at a real disadvantage in this game.

What about Detroit’s coaching situation? It is a reason to pick Cleveland, sure. On the other hand, Lions players might welcome the new staff and get more precise technical instruction from Caldwell. If the Lions show that they’re serious about reducing mistakes, they could win this game comfortably.

Who Will Win

The Browns have some injuries, but the Lions are in a place where they’re playing for the regular season. Cleveland has things to prove right now in the preseason. That’s probably going to lead the Browns to victory on Saturday.

NFL Betting Pick: Browns +2.5


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