Cleveland at Tampa Bay Preseason Week 3 Free Pick & Lines
Neither the Browns nor Buccaneers were very good last regular season, but Friday night’s preseason game is pretty interesting because it’s a matchup of former Heisman Trophy winners in Cleveland QB Robert Griffin III (won at Baylor) and Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston (won at Florida State). The Bucs are favored on NFL odds.
Let’s Take a Look at the Cleveland at Tampa Bay Preseason Week 3 Free Pick, Lines & TV Info
Tampa Bay vs Cleveland Historic Betting Trends
Tampa Bay has a 4-4 record against Cleveland in preseason play and the two teams will meet for the second year in a row. Tampa lost at home to Cleveland in the third preseason game last year 31-7. Current Browns backup QB Josh McCown, who played for Tampa in 2014, finished two long drives with touchdown passes, and Travis Benjamin scored on a 53-yard punt return. Benjamin is now in San Diego. Winston struggled, going 6-for- 15 for 90 yards before leaving after one series in the third quarter. He was sacked four times and picked off once. Doug Martin broke off a 19-yard touchdown run with 9:36 left in the second quarter. The play immediately followed a 26-yard pass from Winston to Vincent Jackson.
Why Bet Cleveland?
The Browns might be a bit desperate for a win after losing 17-11 in Week 1 in Green Bay and then 24-13 last week at home to Atlanta. On the bright side vs. the Falcons, RGIII had two touchdown passes in the first half. Griffin found wide receiver Terrelle Pryor streaking down the right sideline in Cleveland’s second drive of the game for a 50-yard scoring strike. Griffin connected with tight end Gary Barnridge for a 22-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. He was 6 of 8 for 96 yards in four series, and ran for 36 yards on three carries — including a 22-yarder.
Will Josh Gordon make his preseason debut this game? There were reports on Tuesday that multiple teams have inquired about trading for him. Gordon, 25, is suspended for the first four games to start the regular season, but the NFL is allowing him to participate in team activities during the ban. The Browns say they aren’t interested in trading him even though he has been suspended 26 games in the last two seasons. The Browns passed up on a chance to trade Gordon to the 49ers for a second-round pick in 2013, after an initial two-game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy.
This week during joint practices, the Browns gave the Bucs a sampling of the headaches Gordon, who’s listed as 6-foot- 3 and 225 pounds, and Pryor, a 6-4, 223-pound former quarterback, can give defenses. They repeatedly appeared together with the starting offense during 11-on- 11 drills.
Meanwhile, a few key Browns haven't played in the preseason and are likely out Friday: WR Corey Coleman, the team’s No. 1 draft pick, has a left hamstring injury. RT Joe Thomas (back), CB Joe Haden (ankle) and WR Andrew Hawkins (hamstring) also have sat.
Why Bet Tampa Bay?
The Bucs didn’t look good at all in an opening 17-9 preseason loss in Philadelphia but better last week in a 27-21 win at Jacksonville so this will be their first home game. Against the Jags, Winston had a slow start, missing his first six passes, but rebounded against Jacksonville’s second-team defense and found Mike Evans on a fade route for a 4-yard score. Winston finished 3-of- 10 passing for 28 yards with an interception.
Bucs rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo was wide right on a 32-yard field goal and later on a 49-yarder. Those were Aguayo’s second and third misses of the preseason. During Tuesday’s joint practice with the Browns, Aguayo went 3-for- 6 on field goal attempts, and Bucs fans booed him loudly. During his entire time at FSU, he was 198-for- 198 on extra points and only missed nine field goals in three years.
“He’s struggling,” coach Dirk Koetter said after practice. “He’s struggling a little bit right now. He’s gotta work his way through it.”
For the Bucs’ offensive linemen, this game may be even more significant because they will likely have their starting running back, Martin, running behind them. Martin played sparingly in the Bucs’ preseason opener against the Eagles and did not play at all against the Jaguars last Saturday. Even without Martin, the Bucs rushed for 158 yards, a high mark for any offense.
My Free Pick
Like the Bucs at home on NFL lines and the under total.