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NFL Game Preview – Browns at Bucs

The Cleveland Browns travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers this weekend in one of the least anticipated match ups of week one. Neither team is expected to be a playoff contender in their respective division and, although they have several pieces in place for the future, there are too many question marks to project these clubs as being franchises with a bright future. Cleveland is in year one of their rebuilding project under Mike Holmgren, who was brought in to revitalize the franchise and put it on the right path for the future. The Buccaneers are the exact opposite of what Holmgren wishes to strive for.

NFL Betting: Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Online Sports Betting Odds: Buccaneers -3

Why To Bet On The Browns?

The Browns are undergoing another year of transition this season, with a new front office and a variety of veterans. General manager Mike Holmgren brought in a couple of new quarterbacks in Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, and the hope is that they can serve as a better combination than Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson did the past couple of years. Cleveland will still be a run-heavy team, with the rushing game opening things up for the receivers to have more one-on-one match ups. The Browns’ defense isn’t terrible against the run, but they lack the depth in the secondary to slow top-flight passing offenses. Fortunately for Cleveland in week one, Tampa Bay doesn’t have one of those offenses.

Why To Bet On The Buccaneers?

The Buccaneers are a team locked in disarray as, despite the notion from the front office and coaching staff that they are headed in the right direction, the core players on this team are not elite, and the supporting staff is average at best. Tampa Bay will likely be one of the worst teams in football betting this season, and the biggest reason will be the massive fall off on defense from the Tampa-2 teams that dominated opponents in at the opening of the millennium. The Buccaneers’ offense doesn’t boast much big-play ability, and it is yet to be seen just how high quarterback Josh Johnson’s ceiling really is. Running backs Carnell Williams and Derick Ward will lead the offense, as Tampa Bay struggles to stay competitive all season.

How The Game Will Play Out

The Browns are a team lacking elite talent at nearly every position. Fortunately for them, in week one, the Buccaneers are even worse off, with less playmakers than Cleveland has. Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris has made it clear that his team has added pieces to have a competitive future, and that time may still be at least a couple of years away. As for the Browns, although they will not scare anyone in the AFC playoff race this year, they may have enough talent to keep games close, and should be able to steal a road win against Tampa Bay week one. Take the points.

Browns Buccaneers Betting Pick: Browns

QB play will be the deciding factor in this game and Jake Delhomme is an experienced QB who has had success in the league. Tampa just doesn’t have a QB who has proven himself.

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