Cleveland Browns (0-0-1) vs New Orleans Saints (0-1)Date : 09/16/2018
Time : 1:00 pm EST
Location : Mercedes-Benz Stadium in New Orleans
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Cleveland Browns vs New Orleans Saints
The Cleveland Browns will travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana, to battle the New Orleans Saints in week two NFL action beginning at 1 pm EST. The last time these two teams would meet would be September 14, 2014 where the Browns would get the 26-24 home win while the Saints would cash in on the spread as 4.5-point favorites with the over being the play with that total being set at 49.5 points for the game. In week one, the Browns would suffer the 21-21 tie at home versus the Pittsburgh Steelers in their opener as they would cash in on the spread as 3.5 underdogs while the over was the play with the total being set at 41 points for the game. The Saints would fall at home by a 48-40 score to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they would not cash in on the spread as 10 point home favorites while the over was the result with the total being set at 49.5 points for the game.
Cleveland Browns's Latest Performance :
The Browns would not get on the board in week 1 against the Steelers until the third period as they would outscore Pittsburgh 21-14 in the second half after the road team would take 7-0 lead at the half. Tyrod Taylor would get the scoring started with a 20-yard scamper to tie the game at 7 all early in the third while Ben Roethlisberger would toss a 22-yard pass to Antonio Brown to break the tie. James Conner would score on a 2-yard run to increase the Steeler lead to 21-7 with 5:23 left in the third. The Browns would then score two unanswered touchdowns as Carlos Hyde would score on a 2-yard run while Tyrod Taylor would find Josh Gordon for a 17-yard touchdown pass to tie the game while sealing the tie with roughly two minutes remaining in the game. Taylor would be solid with 197 yards passing with an interception, yet, he would also rush for 77 yards, total, in the tie. Jarvis Landry would have 106 yards in the air on 7 receptions while Carlos Hyde would finish with 62 yards total. They will look to find some running room versus the Saints as they would only allow 112 yards on the ground to the Bucs in week 1 while Taylor and Gordon will also seek to exploit a porous pass defense for New Orleans that gave up a whopping 417 yards in the air in the opener. Taylor will need to zero in on Gordon more often as David Njoku is questionable with an undisclosed injury. In all, the Brown should be able to put some points on the board in this matchup as the Saints are allowing opponents 48 points per game.
New Orleans Saints's Latest Performance :
The Saints and Bucs would have an up and down affair as scoring was early and often with the Bucs taking a 31-24 lead at the half while the Bucs would outscore the home team 17-16 in the second half as Ryan Fitzpatrick would throw two touchdowns passes to Mike Evans along with DeSean Jackson to put Tampa Bay up by a 48-24 score. The Saints would crawl back into the contest with a 1-yard touchdown run by Alvin Camara along with a touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Alvin Camara that would ultimately be the final score for New Orleans. While Camara would end the game with just 29 yards on 8 attempts, Brees would lead the Saints with 439 yards total with 3 touchdowns with his main targets being Michael Thomas (16 rec, 180 yds, TD) along with Camara having 112 yards on 9 catches. Ted Ginn Jr would also have 5 receptions for 68 yards and a score for New Orleans in the loss. While the 3rd ranked offense in the league would be outscored in week 1, they will seek to make some headway versus a Browns team that is ranked 28th in both defensive categories. With that being said, Brees and his playmakers will look to duplicate their efforts at home in which to get a much-needed victory in week 2. On the other hand, New Orleans is ranked dead last in the league in rushing with 45 yards per game, yet, will look to control the trenches against Cleveland who would allow the Steelers 159 yards rushing in their opener. The Saints will have a much easier time looking to establish themselves on the ground with defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah doubtful with an ankle injury.
How Cleveland Browns & New Orleans Saints Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
New Orleans is 0-1 ATS while the O/U is 1-0
Cleveland is 0-0-1 ATS while the O/U is 1-0
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
The Saints seem to possess yet another high-powered offense in 2018 along with an aggressive, yet, leaky defense that can, at times, give up chunks of yardage along with points. The Browns, while not being nearly on the level of the Saints at this time, will come into the Superdome very confident this weekend. It is for this reason that the home team must be able to attack Cleveland where it hurts, at the QB position. Yes, Tyrod Taylor must be neutralize in this game for the Saints to pull out a victory. With that being said, it will be interesting to see if indeed the Saints can accomplish the task.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: New Orleans -9
My reason for the pick :
Again, with both defenses giving up chunks of yardage in week 1, I would certainly expect there to be more than enough offense in this matchup; However, the Saints will begin to pull away in the second half of this contest as their defense will totally take away the run game, thus making the Browns a one-dimensional team. With that being said, the Saints will certainly be able to locate a bit more holes within this Browns defense than they would in week one versus the Bucs, thus allowing them to open things up more in the passing game. In all, I will back the Saints in this contest as the home team will be focused on getting their first win of the season while continuing to become more efficient on both sides of the ball. Besides, much like the Saints, the Browns have a shaky defense, yet, unlike the Saints, with a so-so passing attack that will be without their tight end Njoku. They will attempt to pound the ball on the ground, however, the Saints, as stated, will take the ground attack out of the equation as the game progresses due to the home team racking up points early.
Totals Selection: Pick: Over 49.5
My reason for the prediction :
I happen to feel as though the over will be the strong play in this matchup in that the Saints will indeed score some points due to Brees alone. Combine this with the weapons that he possesses on the offensive side, my pick really seems to make sense. On the other hand, their defense is prone to giving up yards in the air as well which leads me to feel that though the Browns may not win this matchup, yet, will certainly have opportunities to score throughout the game. In all, the total of 49.5 points will indeed be surpassed due to each teams susceptibility of becoming a victim on defense both to the pass and potentially the run.
Betting trends for Cleveland Browns:
- Over is 5-0 in Browns last 5 games on fieldturf
- Browns are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 games on fieldturf
- Browns are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
Betting trends for New Orleans Saints:
- Over is 7-0 in Saints last 7 games following a straight up loss
- Over is 5-0 in Saints last 5 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game
- Over is 8-0 in Saints last 8 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.