Pro Football Preview: Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles Handicapping Predictions

Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles
Thursday, 8/25/11, 7:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Philadelphia -7
Current Betting Line:  Philadelphia -7
Opening Total:  39
Current Total:  40
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Eagles Giants NFL Preview
Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick threw three interceptions last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers

Cleveland dropped a 30-28 contest to the Detroit Lions in its second preseason home game of the year as 2.5-point favorites and will now finish up the exhibition season on the road.  The Browns have been extremely happy with the performance of second-year quarterback Colt McCoy, as he’s turned in two strong appearances to take a hold of the starting spot.  He tossed three touchdown passes in five possessions against the Lions and put two scores on the board in limited action against the Packers in a 27-17 win in Week 1.  Cleveland is 3-3 ATS as an underdog during exhibition action.

The Browns made big news during the week by locking up All-Pro offensive tackle Joe Thomas to a seven-year, $84 million contract.  Many around the NFL consider him one of the premier left tackles in the game and will protect McCoy for years to come.  “I’ve always loved playing for the Browns,” Thomas commented.  “I love the fans.  I love the city.”  Cleveland’s offense has scored 55 points in the first two preseason games combined, which is the most by the team since it posted 68 in 1955.  The Browns’ 27.5 points-per-game average ranks third in the NFL this preseason.

Philadelphia can hold off the discussion of being the league’s “Dream Team” for awhile after being handed a humbling 24-14 road loss against in-state rival Pittsburgh.  The Eagles have plenty to work on and quarterback Michael Vick needs to start concentrating on the field rather than photo shoots off of it.  “I absolutely feel the need to redeem myself,” Vick stated this week in practice.  The 2010 AP Comeback Player of the Year completed just 5 of 12 passes and threw three interceptions last week.  Philadelphia is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 preseason games

Eagles head coach Andy Reid has stated that starters will be expected to play into the second half Thursday night.  It’s quite normal that NFL teams play first-team units for a longer period during the third week, as many rest players for the preseason finale heading into the regular season.  That may not be the case for the Eagles, as Reid has let it be known that some of his stars may play against the New York Jets next week.  Defensively, the unit will welcome back defensive tackle Mike Patterson, who will see his first live action of the year.  He suffered a seizure on the practice field earlier this month.

Bettors will likely fade the Eagles due to their 0-2 ATS mark the last two-plus years when favored by 3.5 to 7 points in preseason games.

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