NY Giants (0-1) at Cleveland (1-0)
When: Monday, August 21st 2017
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Cleveland -2/40
The Cleveland Browns have a chance to do something they haven’t done since the middle of the 2014 season, and that’s win back-to-back games. Yes, it’s only preseason, but for a young team learning how to win, every game matters. They will host the New York Giants on ESPN’s Monday Night Football that will conclude Week 2 of the NFL preseason schedule. The Giants got the better of Cleveland in Week 12 last season, winning 27-13 to give the Browns their 15th straight loss. Eli Manning had two TD passes to star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and Jason Pierre-Paul returned a fumble for a touchdown in that win. Cleveland’s QB that day was Josh McCown, who is now fighting for the starting job of the New York Jets. The Browns have covered just 5 of their past 26 games overall and one of past nine at home. The Giants are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
The Giants opened the preseason with a 20-12 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Friday, but many stars did not play. Manning, WRs Beckham and Sterling Shepard, defensive end Pierre-Paul and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie all sat it out. It’s likely those guys all play a little bit this week. Safety Duke Ihenacho pulled a hamstring in the second quarter and did not return. Geno Smith and Josh Johnson are battling to be Manning’s backup, and Smith has the early edge after going 10-for-16 for 114 yards and a TD against the Steelers, while Johnson was 5-for-10 for 31 yards. The Giants also have a kicking battle going on between Mike Nugent and Aldrick Rosas.
Cleveland’s head coach Hue Jackson snapped a dubious streak with last week’s 20-14 home victory over New Orleans. He had lost and failed to cover all eight preseason games as a head coach including his one season with the Raiders. Brock Osweiler got the start at quarterback and didn’t do much (6-of-14, 42 yards). Rookie DeShone Kizer, a second-round pick out of Notre Dame, was very impressive in going 11-for-18 for 184 yards and a game-winning, 45-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 1:52 left. Osweiler got the first reps with the starters this week at practice, Cody Kessler followed him with the backups and then Kizer then worked with the starters as the competition grows. 2017 No. 1 overall pick, defensive end Myles Garrett from Texas A&M, also made his debut vs. the Saints. He played 15 snaps and had a quarterback pressure and tackle for a loss. He’s an early favorite for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The Giants could care less if they win or lose this game. All they want to do is stay healthy, while Jackson and the Browns are trying to install a winning attitude in preseason and hopes that it carries over to the real games.
Pick: Browns +1
- Browns are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Monday games.
- Browns are 5-20-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall.
- Browns are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games on grass.
- Browns are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 home games.
- Under is 7-2 in Giants last 9 games overall.
- Under is 7-2 in Giants last 9 road games.
- Under is 17-8 in Giants last 25 games on grass.
- Under is 5-0 in Browns last 5 home games.
- Under is 5-1 in Browns last 6 games on grass.
- Over is 4-1-1 in Browns last 6 Monday games.
- Under is 6-2 in Browns last 8 games overall.
- Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Favorite is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.