Philadelphia (0-2) at Cleveland (1-1)
When: Thursday, August 23rd 2018
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: FOX
Opening Odds: Philadelphia -2/42
The Philadelphia Eagles maybe suffering from a little Super Bowl hangover, as they have looked poor – especially the defense – in dropping their first two preseason games. They look to turn it around when they visit the Cleveland Browns to kick off Week 3 action on Thursday. Philly gave up 31 in a blowout loss to Pittsburgh, then dropped a 37-20 decision last week at New England, but the immediate concern is at quarterback. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles was hurt in last week’s game in Foxborough, but is expected to start Thursday in Cleveland. The Browns, meanwhile, are coming off a 19-17 home loss to Buffalo, and have two quarterbacks battling for the Week 1 gig. Cleveland’s streak of five consecutive preseason covers ended last week against the Bills, but their trend on unders continues. The total has gone under in 11 of Cleveland’s last 12 preseason games, with one push. The total for this game is down to 41.
The Eagles will probably be giving the majority of the QB duties to Nate Sudfeld, who threw for 312 yards and three scores in last week’s loss at New England. With Carson Wentz still sidelined – but practicing – and Foles coming off last week’s injury, Sudfeld will be the man. The defense, which has given up 68 points in two games, needs a better showing Thursday against what will probably be Cleveland’s first team starters for at least a half.
Cleveland brought in quarterback Tyrod Taylor to be the bridge for No. 1 draft pick Baker Mayfield, but the former Oklahoma signal-caller is fighting for that Week 1 spot already. Both will see action against Philadelphia on Thursday, and it appears Taylor is still the favorite to win the starting job, but Mayfield has two more games to prove himself. The Browns recorded 164 yards on the ground last week against Buffalo after getting stifled for 50 yards on 33 carries against the New York Giants in Week 1.
The Eagles are going to be real careful on offense, as they don’t want to run out of quarterbacks, while Taylor and Mayfield are in a great battle for Cleveland. The Eagles rush defense has been poor through two games and that could be an issue after the Browns broke through on the ground last week. I’ll take Cleveland at home laying the field goal.
Pick: Browns -3
- Eagles are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games on grass.
- Eagles are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
- Eagles are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games.
- Browns are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games.
- Browns are 7-16-1 ATS in their last 24 games on grass.
- Browns are 15-35-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall.
- Browns are 7-21 ATS in their last 28 home games.
- Over is 17-4 in Eagles last 21 road games.
- Over is 7-2 in Eagles last 9 Thursday games.
- Under is 6-1 in Browns last 7 Thursday games.
- Under is 11-2 in Browns last 13 home games.
- Under is 13-3 in Browns last 16 games on grass.
- Home team is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.