Cleveland Browns +2, 35 at New York Giants, 8 pm Eastern Monday, ESPN
by Zman of Predictem.com
One of the AFC’s Super Bowl hopefuls takes on the defending Super Bowl champions when the Cleveland Browns visit Jersey for a bout with the New York Giants in the second exhibition game of the 2008 season for both teams Monday night.
Football bookies are listing New York as two-point home favorites for Monday night’s game, with a total of 35. The Giants are also listed at right around -135 on various Vegas moneylines, with Cleveland getting +120 as road underdogs.
Cleveland went a surprising 10-6 in their 3rd season under coach Romeo Crennel last year, ranking 8th in total offense and 10th in rushing, but just 30th in total defense and 27th vs. the run. Add it all up, and the Browns ranked 20th in the league in total yardage last year at -9 YPG.
Cleveland opened this pre-season with a 24-20 loss to the New York Jets last Thursday as 4 1/2-point home favorites. The Browns led 20-10 early in the 4th quarter, but allowed a 71-yard TD pass to New York’s 3rd-string QB and a 62-yard punt return in falling.
Starting QB Derek Anderson went 4/5 passing for 20 yards and a touchdown. After that, Brady Quinn went 13/17 for 133 yards and an INT, while Ken Dorsey finished up by going 8/26 for 139 yards and two INTs.
The Giants opened this season with a 13-10 loss at Detroit last Thursday as three-point road underdogs. Eli Manning threw six passes, then watched David Carr and Anthony Wright go 19/26 for 220 yards and a TD.
New York ranked 16th in the league in total offense last year, and 4th in rushing at 134 YPG. The Giants also ranked 7th in total defense and 8th vs. the run. Overall, NY ranked 11th in the league in total yardage at +26 YPG.
These two teams last met in the pre-season of 2005, when the Browns beat the Giants 17-14 in Cleveland. Also, these two teams are going to square off in week 6 of the upcoming NFL regular season in Cleveland, so the play-calling may not be the most imaginative Monday night.
New York is expected to sit many veterans Monday night, including most of the veteran receiving corps. And WR Braylon Edwards is likely to watch this one from the sidelines, too.
Other reports indicate that both starting QBs will play into the second quarter.
In their three pre-seasons under coach Crennel, the Browns are 8-4 straight up and 9-3 against the spread, with the totals going 4-8.
In their four exhibition seasons under coach Tom Coughlin, the Giants are 9-7 both SU and ATS, with the totals going 7-9.