Against the Spread Pick
There’s been an unreal amount of hype surrounding the Cleveland Browns this offseason, and they’ll finally get the chance to show if they’re for real when they open the season against the Tennessee Titans here. For a few reasons, I think the Browns will be able to cover this spread. The Titans lost their offensive coordinator from last year Matt LaFleur, who left to take the head coaching job in Green Bay. To take his place they promoted Arthur Smith, who has never called plays before. Tennessee’s defense was one of the most overrated units in the league last year, and this new-look Browns offense with Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. should torch them. Cleveland’s offense already looked like a juggernaut late last year once Freddie Kitchens took the reins, and now they added a top-five receiver to the mix. I’m expecting a big step back from the Titans in 2019, and the Browns will win this one by at least a touchdown.
Over Under Pick
I also like the under a lot here. The play-calling situation should be a mess for Tennessee, and I expect Marcus Mariota to struggle here with high-profile backup Ryan Tannehill breathing down his neck and causing a distraction. The Titans will also be without star left tackle Taylor Lewan, who is probably their most valuable player, after he was suspended for the first four games of the season for a PED violation. Lewan’s absence means that Browns edge rushers Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon will be running wild, supplying constant pressure. Cleveland’s offensive line is a weakness as well, so I think both quarterbacks will have issues in the pocket on Sunday.