Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:30 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Cleveland -3½ over Kansas City
1:00 PM EST. The Chiefs are defenders of the Lombardi Trophy this season, so a third preseason game in the middle of future Hall of Famer Patrick Mahomes's career is needed about as much as a hole in the head. The Chiefs are 1-1 in the preseason, and they are coming off the heels of a 38-10 waffling of Arizona in preseason game number two. Kansas City has no intention of playing Mahomes or any other starter of note because, obviously, head coach Andy Reid has his eye on the prize.
The “big” story for the Chiefs coming into this game is the “fierce” battle at the backup quarterback position between Shane Buechele and veteran Blaine Gabbert. Reid has not named the backup to Mahomes, but the numbers that Buechele and Gabbert have put up so far this preseason are getting some attention. The former is 21-of-28 for 260 yards and two TDs, while the latter is 11-of-16 for 179 yards and three majors. Does any of that useless play matter? Of course not, but does it have an influence in an NFL-starved market that can’t wait to get a wager down? Absolutely.
As for the Browns, they plan to roll with a number of first-string players in this game for at least a series or two. Coach Kevin Stefanski has already said his team needs to tighten a few loose screws and secure some nuts on some bolts before going into Week 1 properly prepared. Pivot Deshaun Watson will be starting this game, and although he’s only thrown three passes so far in this preseason, the plan is to give him and the rest of the front line a little time to work.
The Browns have played three preseason games already, with the Hall of Fame game getting things started at the beginning of the month. While they have not scored more than 21 points in a preseason game this year, so what? Past results are not indicative of future returns, ya know?
Furthermore, the Browns are coming into this season with a chip on their shoulders, and a win over the Chiefs is still a building block, even if it’s just an exhibition game. It’s telling that the Browns, who are considered to be fully inferior to the Chiefs in every conceivable way, starters or backups, could be favored by such a significant range on the road, yet here we are. The line here says so much about this game and we're paying attention. Sportsinteraction has the Brownies -3½ -110 while other books are at -3½ with a little extra vig.
Cleveland -3½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)