Pick: Cleveland Browns take on the New Orleans Saints
Cleveland Browns (0-0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
NFL Football Week 1
When: Sunday, September 16th, 1:00pm EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome - New Orleans, LA
By: Bob Clark, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Spread: CLE +8 / NOR -8
This Sunday at 1:00pm we have an AFC/NFC game between two teams that were unable to find wins in week one. The Cleveland Browns, who look to be an improved team is coming off of a tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers while the New Orleans Saint are headed into this game after being defeated by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 48-40. Both teams come in hoping for their first win of the 2018-2019 season and it should be an interesting one.
THE LINE: As of tonight, the New Orleans Saints are heavy favorites at home over the Cleveland Browns…of course. The Saints are favored by eight points and the total points are set at 49.5 combined between the two squads. The early public action is very heavy on the New Orleans Saints with 63% of the public on the black and gold. As for the over/under total, 55% of the public likes the total to soar over the 49.5. I will go ahead and say…take that pick. I think this game goes over without it ever even being in doubt. As for the point spread in favor of New Orleans…lets take a step back and look further into this one.
CAN THESE GUYS EVER WIN? I like Cleveland. No, I am not saying this team will make the Super Bowl… Hell, these dudes will not even sniff the post season, but overall I feel they are moving in the right direction. They made some good additions, their confidence seems to be at an all time high, and I KNOW without a doubt that they will get some wins in 2018. The only question is….when?
Two weeks ago if you asked me how Cleveland would hang in the Superdome against the Saints, I would have laughed and said the game would be over by half time. Well, as Lee Corso says, “Not so fast.” The New Orleans Saints looked like absolute trash this past Sunday. Okay, not the entire team. Brees and the offense looked good but the defense was putrid. Anyhow, enough about the Saints, we will talk about them here coming up. Lets take a moment to discuss the Cleveland Browns: Again, they look better than years past. They absolutely SHOULD have beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday and that would have been a great start to the year. Against the Steelers, the Browns were able to rack up 177 yards on the ground while averaging nearly five yards a carry. Moving forward though, the Browns MUST get something going in the passing game. Tyrod Taylor was just 15 for 40 passing and was sacked seven times. Do I think Taylor is the problem? NOPE. Cleveland, seriously, DRAFT SOME O-LINE. If the Browns plan to start winning games, the offensive line must step up not just for the QB position, but to also help develop the run game and a more balanced offensive attack. Until Cleveland can be more consistent on offense, this team stands no chance to become winners.
WANTED: A NEW ORLEANS SAINTS DEFENSE: Good lord guys. As an Atlanta Falcons fan I loved watching the Saints struggle on defense. They straight up sucked. In week one against the Bucs, New Orleans allowed their backup quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, to throw for 417 yards and four touchdowns on 21-28 passing. In other words, he lit them up! As for the run game, Tampa Bay was able to gain a tad over 100 yards which is not much but it was enough to balance the offense and allow Tampa to move the ball at will. Long story short… Of course the Cleveland offense is not as good as Tampa’s but If New Orleans cannot D up, it may end up being much closer than they want.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON SUNDAY? Do I think the Browns will rack up 400 yards passing and 48 points? No. Not even close. This New Orleans Saints team is much better than they showed in week one and the Browns are the unlucky opponent to come into the Superdome in week two. I have a gut feeling that the Saints are going to absolutely dominate this one from start to finish. Cleveland will get some trash points after the Saints have the game in hand, but in the end, I think the Saints win something like 42-21. All Saints, all day… even though it sickens me to say that.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: TAKE THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS MINUS THE POINTS ON SUNDAY