Baker Mayfield is set to make his NFL debut when the Cleveland Browns travel to face the New York Giants in the preseason opener for both teams. Mayfield was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft but is expected to begin the season as the backup to Tyrod Taylor, so the exhibition slate could be when he gets his most work for the foreseeable future.
The Browns went 0-16 a year ago but that will have no bearing on a game like this. The teams will give their starters just a little bit of run and then it will be all about the backups and third-stringers. This is one of the toughest weeks to gauge because it is a battle of little-known players.
However, Mayfield’s expected action could tip the scales in favor of Cleveland even on the road in NFL gambling.
This NFL football game:Cleveland Browns vs New York Giants will be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey at 7 p.m ET on Thursday, August 9th, 2018. The contest will be nationally televised on NFL Network.
We'll have NFL football odds at BETCRIS.com available for every game of the 2018 NFL season.
The Giants are the home team and are listed as the 2.5-point favorites. The bettors like Cleveland at that spread as the majority of the money is on the Browns. The scoring total is listed at 34.5 points, which isn’t a surprise as preseason games are lower-scoring than in the regular season. The “over” is the more popular pick by the gamblers.
The Giants are -141 favorites while the Browns are the +121 underdogs in NFL betting.
Player To Watch
Mayfield -- The former Oklahoma star was gobbled up with the first pick by the Browns and they have high expectations for the future. However, Tyrod Taylor is expected to begin the season as the starting quarterback in Cleveland. However it turns out, the preseason is important for Mayfield as he adapts to the NFL game.
It will be interesting how quickly he can command the offense. Keep an eye on any playing time talk. Taylor is a veteran who should find success in this game if he plays.
For the Giants, it wouldn’t be a surprise if veteran Eli Manning doesn’t play in this game. He has nothing to prove in the preseason and wants to avoid injury. This will also be the expected debut of Saquon Barkley, who went No. 2 overall in the draft to the Giants. The standout running back could have a bigger impact than Mayfield in this one as it is generally easier for running backs to play well early on because there is less to learn.
The Browns dealt wide receiver Corey Coleman to the Bills for a draft pick earlier this week. He is a former first-round pick and takes away one of the aerial weapons. Star pass-catcher Josh Gordon is not with the team as he deals with a personal issue, so Cleveland is a little short on wide receivers.
The trade of Coleman was surprising as he was supposed to make an impact this year, but Cleveland must feel good about its depth elsewhere. Coleman will get a fresh start in Buffalo.
Free NFL ATS Picks
This isn’t going to resemble a regular season game, so don’t worry about what would happen if all the starters were playing. A lot could come down to Mayfield’s performance. The belief here is that he shows well and helps give the Browns a lead that they will hold on to in the final quarter.
Choose Cleveland to both cover the spread and win outright in NFL gambling. The “under” is the right call as there shouldn’t be a lot of offense.
NFL ATS Pick: Browns 17, Giants 13
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