Washington Redskins vs. Cleveland Browns Preseason Pick

August 8, 7:30 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Redskins -2

The Browns begin their run to the Super Bowl when they host the Redskins in the exhibition season opener for both teams Thursday night. Which way are we going here for our free NFL pick?

NFL Betting Odds

Week 1's NFL exhibition betting odds opened Cleveland at around -1 over Washington, with an over/under of 35. Early betting action then flipped the Redskins into two-point favorites and bumped that total to 35.5.

Redskins vs. Browns Set-Up

Washington is coming off a second straight 7-9 season last year (9-7 against the spread) and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season. And with just one winning season out of five Coach Gruden finds himself on a hot seat.

Over the off-season, the Redskins added a handful of veterans and used five of their first six draft picks on offense. Washington may have come up with the steal of the draft when they took Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick.

It looks like newcomer Case Keenum, picked up from Denver, will begin the regular season as the starter at QB, and he'll need some pre-season action with his new teammates and a new system. But Haskins could take over at almost any minute, and he should get some field time over the next three-four weeks.

The rest of the Redskins quarterbacking corps consists of Colt McCoy, who's still recovering from a leg injury, and third-year NFL virgin Josh Woodrum.

Washington ranked 28th in the NFL in total offense last season, averaging just 300 yards per game, and 17th in total defense, allowing 353 YPG.

The Redskins are pegged with a regular-season wins over/under of 6.5.

Cleveland, meanwhile, is coming off its best season in over a decade and begins this season with high expectations. The Browns won five of their last seven games last year to finish 7-8-1 (9-6-1 ATS), and now face a wins O/U of 9 for this season.

Over the off-season, Cleveland promoted Coach Kitchens to the head job, brought in a couple of dangerous offensive weapons in WR Odell Beckham and RB Kareem Hunt and used their top four picks in the draft on defense.

Baker Mayfield grabbed the starting spot at QB last year and ran with it, helping the Browns offense improve by 60 yards per game from 2017. However, he probably won't play much, if at all, Thursday night. So Cleveland will be quarterbacked for most of this game by a combination of Drew Stanton, who owns a career 20/24 touchdowns/interceptions ratio, Garrett Gilbert and rookie David Blough.

Cleveland ranked 13th in the league in total offense at 369 YPG but 30th in total defense at 393 YPG.

These teams last met in a game that mattered back in 2016, a 31-20 Washington win. But that's a long time ago.

NFL Betting Trends

  • Washington is 12-8 SU, 11-9 ATS in five exhibition seasons under Coach Gruden.
  • Cleveland is 7-1 both SU and ATS over its last two exhibition seasons; however, that was done when the Browns were searching for any degree of success. They enter this pre-season with a little different frame of mind.
  • Totals Report
  • Unders played 9-7 in Redskins games last season, which averaged 40 total points.
  • Unders played 8-7-1 in Browns games last season, which averaged 47 points.
  • Overs, somewhat surprisingly, played 11-6 in Week 1 of last year's NFL exhibition season.

Redskins at Browns Prediction 08/08/2019

Motivation means a ton when it comes to handicapping these pre-season games, and in this spot, Washington needs a better showing more than Cleveland. Plus, the Redskins should give Haskins some work, and they might own the better defense. We'll take Washington.

Free Pick: 
Take the Redskins -2
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