Cleveland at Philadelphia Week 1 Odds & Free Pick
In a stunning turn of events, the Philadelphia Eagles traded starting quarterback Sam Bradford over the weekend for first- and fourth-round draft picks to Minnesota. So now Philly is turning the team over for 2016 No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz even though he played in just one preseason game due to injury. Philly isn’t likely to be favored often this season but it is for the season opener against Cleveland on NFL lines.
Here’s a Closer Look at the Cleveland at Philadelphia Week 1 Odds, Free Pick & TV Info
Cleveland vs Philadelphia Historic Betting Trends
The Eagles opened the 2012 season with a 17-16 win in Cleveland. Michael Vick threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Clay Harbor with 1:18 left. Vick had four interceptions, though, as did Browns QB Brandon Weeden. His 5.1 rating was the sixth lowest in a season opener by any quarterback attempting at least 15 passes since the merger in 1970.
Why Bet on Cleveland?
The Browns have question marks at quarterback, concerns with the offensive line and serious problems on defense. Some of the 2016 draft picks have looked good — WR Corey Coleman, DE Carl Nassib, OLB Emmanuel Ogbah — but there are not enough impact players and not enough players in general to sustain success. This is the Cleveland debut of QB Robert Griffin III.
The Browns’ offseason roster overhaul left the team with 17 rookies (including 13 draft picks), two first- year players and nine second-year players. That’s 28 of 53 who have two years or less experience. Only seven of the 53 are 30 or older, and only 17 are 26 or older. The overhaul followed a 3-13 season, the seventh in the last eight in which the Browns lost at least 11 games.
“I didn’t know how young we would be,” new coach Hue Jackson said “We have what we have. I’m excited about the guys that we have. We just have to coach them up and get them better.”
Jackson will devise a game plan for Griffin that plays to his strengths. He’s already demonstrated a knack for the deep ball, and he’ll have plenty of chances to go deep to Terrelle Pryor, Gary Barnidge, Coleman and others. At times, Jackson will send four players on go routes, like he did in Cincinnati.
Eight days before the 2016 NFL draft, the Browns traded the second overall pick to the Eagles, who used the selection to take Wentz out of North Dakota State. The Browns moved down from No. 2 to No. 8 and received picks in the third and fourth rounds this year, a first-round selection next year and a second-round choice in 2018. They later traded down from No. 8 to No. 15, where they chose Coleman.
Why Bet on Philadelphia?
The plan all along was to redshirt Wentz and let Bradford and highly priced backup Chase Daniel carry the team. Then Teddy Bridgewater was injured and the Eagles saw an opportunity to recoup some value for Bradford in a trade. They pulled the trigger, getting a first- and fourth-round pick back from Minnesota. Now the team is Wentz’s to run, far ahead of schedule.
Everything is a new experience for Wentz, who played in just one game in the preseason before suffering hairline fractures in two ribs. Wentz started two dozen games at North Dakota State against competition a level below the very highest in the college football landscape. He threw 24 passes in the preseason before suffering the injury. On July 17, Pederson said Wentz would likely be inactive on game day.
“I’m very excited,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said of Wentz.” To get a player like Carson, I just think he fits with Doug’s offense, with this organization. I think this is the right place for him to grow. He brings the kinds of qualities, not just as a quarterback, but as a player, that you really look for. And that really for us, as a coaching staff and as an organization, starts with toughness, physical and mental toughness.”
The Eagles enter 2016 with a stout defense in coordinator Jim Schwartz’s first season. It will need to be. The Eagles’ offense could be painful to watch. There are question marks along the offensive line, Ryan Mathews hasn’t been a healthy workhorse throughout his career and the receiver corps is one of the worst in the NFL.
My Expert Pick
Take the Eagles on NFL lines and go under the total.