New Orleans Saints vs. Cleveland Browns Preview
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland
When: Thursday, August 10, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBC
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Betting on the New Orleans Saints
After finishing the 2016 season third in the NFC South with a 7-9 SU record, the Saints are now on a mission to regain the respect they’ve used to enjoy in the Drew Brees era.
Brees and superstar new addition Adrian Peterson are unlikely to play in this game. After all, the Saints wouldn’t risk these aging vets in a preseason game, let alone against a Browns team that barely looked like a professional squad last season. Furthermore, the offense seems fine for the Saints, who finished last season second overall in scoring offense and first in passing offense.
What the Saints should be sharpening this preseason is their defense that was tattered with holes in 2016, when they allowed 28.4 points per game and over 370 total yards per contest.
Betting on the Cleveland Browns
By comparison to the Browns, the Saints had a blockbuster of a season in 2016. Cleveland was at its peak Cleveland form that year, when the Browns concluded the campaign with a very Brownsy 1-15 SU record.
The prizes for sucking, however, are a pair of first-round selections in Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers. Both are defensive menaces back in college and should aid Cleveland’s problematic stop unit that ranked 30th last season in scoring defense. Even without Brees and Peterson playing this Thursday, Garrett and Peppers should have their hands full against New Orleans.
It’s the Browns’ offense, meanwhile, that deserves everybody’s attention, particularly the quarterback battle. Cleveland has seen a carousel of signal-callers over the past several years but none have proven to be the long-term answer under center. Brock Osweiler, DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler, and Kevin Hogan are all part of the competition. With a quandary at the QB position, the Browns might have to rely more on their ground game with Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson leading the attack.
New Orleans wins, 27-23.
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