The New York Giants went an awful 3-13 last season and saw former head coach Ben McAdoo blow it in a big way by benching beloved franchise icon Eli Manning along the way. The good news is that the poor season helped usher in a new ear as the Giants hired former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and helped them acquire the second pick in the NFL Draft which they used to nab supremely gifted running back Saquon Barkley out of Penn State.
Things were just as bad for the Cleveland Browns who went a winless 0-16, but then ended up with two of the top four picks in the draft, including the top spot. To make things even better, the Browns made a series of smart moves in free agency, starting with the acquisition of veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Now, as both teams get set for the upcoming 2018 NFL regular season, there’s almost literally no way to go but up for either franchise.
Browns vs Giants 2018 NFL Preseason Week 1 Odds
“It wasn’t just the passing game that got going today, they really got it moving on the ground.” The 2-Minute Drill: pic.twitter.com/dwrEmW3j1m— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) July 31, 2018
When: Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey Live Stream: NFL Game Pass NFL Odds: NY Giants -3 / Total: 34.5
Why Bet on the Cleveland Browns?
Why should you bet on the Browns in this Week 1 preseason opener? Well, because they’ve got the better situation at backup quarterback, that’s why! The Browns are 4-8 in the preseason under Hue Jackson and I suspect they won’t play either, Tyrod Taylor or Baker Mayfield very much in this one.
The good news is that they also have a very capable third string signal-caller in veteran Drew Stanton, so they should be in good shape throughout this contest as they look to improve an offense that ranked dead last in scoring (14.6 ppg) and a defense that finished 31st in points allowed (25.6 ppg).Offense:
- Average Score For: 14.62
- Total Yards: 308.81
- Pass Yards: 201.75
- Rush Yards: 107.06
- Average Score Against: 25.62
- Total Yards: 328.13
- Pass Yards: 230.25
- Rush Yards: 97.88
Why Bet on the New York Giants?
Why should you bet on the Giants in this Week 1 preseason opener? The best reason is that Cleveland likely won’t play prized rookie signal-caller Baker Mayfield very long in the hopes they won’t get him injured in a meaningless contest, plus the G-Men have some good talent at running back behind Barkley and are playing at home.
After Eli Manning leaves (if he even plays), the Giants will hand the ball to backup Davis Webb and then, fourth round draft pick Kyle Lauletta and Alex Tanney. Webb completed 18 of 34 passes for 190 yards during the preseason and didn’t take any snaps in the regular season. He was drafted by Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo, whereas Lauletta was picked by the new regime of general manger Dave Gettleman and Shurmur. Tanney has one game of NFL experience as he saw the field for some spot duty with Tennessee back in 2015. The Giants ranked 31st in scoring (15.4 ppg) and 27th in points allowed (24.2 ppg) in 2017.
- Average Score For: 15.38
- Total Yards:
- Pass Yards: 217.44
- Rush Yards: 96.81
- Average Score Against: 24.25
- Total Yards:
- Pass Yards: 252.38
- Rush Yards: 120.81
Expert Analysis and Prediction for Browns vs Giants
The Giants may be playing at home in this preseason opener, but the Cleveland Browns have the far better situation at backup quarterback and these preseason games generally tend to favor the team with the better backup signal-callers. Simply put, I’m expecting Baker Mayfield and more importantly, Drew Stanton, to outplay their Giants’ counterparts while leading the rejuvenated Browns to the preseason win!
NFL Preseason Week 1 Pick: Cleveland Browns +3