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Eagles Browns Betting Tips – Eagles Try To Start On The Right Foot Against Browns

Posted by Tony Bryant on 9/4/2012 6:22:12 PM

The Philadelphia Eagles disappointed themselves and their fans a year ago when they were picked as a preseason Super Bowl favorite. They'll try to write a different story in 2012.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Cleveland Browns – Sunday, September 9   
Football betting line: No line

Why Philadelphia Will Win

When poker is played, the better hand is supposed to win. Very simply, then, the Eagles hold the better cards… or perhaps, to be more precise, the Browns don't have any cards at all. Cleveland has very little talent on offense. The Browns felt so confident about quarterback Colt McCoy that they drafted a 28-year-old, Brandon Weeden, to compete with McCoy for the starting quarterback job.

Cleveland has inhabited the AFC North Division basement for most of the past decade, and the franchise shows no real sign of being able to climb out of that dank and dark place. Philadelphia does not have to play a brilliant game to win on Sunday; the Eagles just need to be competent, and Vick – who got roughed up in the preseason – must make simple plays in the passing game, protecting his body from hits by hitting his checkdowns on a regular basis. The formula is not complicated for the Eagles against the manifestly inferior Browns.

Why Cleveland Will Win

It's not unheard of for sports betting analysts to regret things said, written, or otherwise predicted, and last year, some pigskin pundits very possibly came to rue their preseason NFL predictions, especially the ones that said that the Philadelphia Eagles were going to make and win the Super Bowl. The Eagles loaded up on high-profile free-agent signings last summer, becoming a magnet for high-dollar players looking to find a home.

The collection of talent, combined with the sense that Philadelphia was a "destination franchise" for many NFL players, created the sense that the Eagles were going to be not just good, but galvanized in the locker room. Yet, the Eagles never really meshed in 2011. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo had been the Eagles' offensive line coach for the previous 12 seasons, from 1998 through 2010. His switch to a new position on head coach Andy Reid's staff led to miscommunications and the lack of a clear plan.

What was, on paper, a vaunted Philadelphia defense was disorganized and deficient. The Eagles stumbled incoherently through their season on that side of the ball, while on offense, quarterback Michael Vick got injured and did not respond well to his diminished physical capacity.

Vick, briefly knocked out of action, came back to the playing fields as the 2011 season progressed. He was not 100 percent, but it's not as though he couldn't move; the highly-publicized player enjoyed considerable freedom of movement. He had chances to make plays in several contests but simply did not read defenses with sharpness or clarity. The Eagles spiraled downward before a win-filled December lifted them to an 8-8 record.

This team is still talented, but if Philadelphia – feeling immense pressure to win this season – crumbles under the weight of expectations, Cleveland can play a low-scoring game and win as long as it avoids turnovers.

Who Will Win

Cleveland will not win many games this season. Can it beat Philadelphia? Yes. Will it beat Philadelphia? Probably not. The Browns are not likely to spring a week-one ambush. Their wins will come against bottom-rung teams, and the Eagles are not a bottom-rung team.

NFL Football Betting Pick: Philadelphia


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