The Philadelphia Eagles will open up Week 1 at home against the Cleveland Browns. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday at 1:00 EST at Lincoln Financial Field. Oddsmakers have the Eagles listed as a 4-point favorite with the total set at 41 points. Click this link for more Week 1 betting odds and previews.
Browns vs Eagles Spread Betting Preview
The Eagles are coming off quite an eventful offseason. Philadelphia parted ways with Chip Kelly and added in Doug Peterson as the new head coach. They traded up to the No. 2 pick to take quarterback Carson Wentz. He was expected to learn behind Sam Bradford, but that’s no longer the case. Bradford was just traded to Minnesota. The NFC East is wide open and it’s anyone’s guess where the Eagles finish in the division.
Cleveland suffered it’s 8th consecutive losing season with a 3-13 record in 2015. Extending the franchise’s playoff drought to 13 years. A revolving door at head coach has been a problem. Though the Browns believe they have finally found their man in Hue Jackson.
It just so happens it was the Browns that made the trade with the Eagles to allow them to get Wentz. Given their inability to find a long-term quarterback, that move will be heavily scrutinized. Either way the Browns figure to be at least a couple more years from being competitive.
Free Pick and Point Spread Prediction: Browns +4
Quarterback experience is a key factor when making my free NFL picks. I just don’t believe the Eagles are a good enough team with Wentz at quarterback to be laying 4-points. We are simply getting value here because of how bad Cleveland is perceived to be.
I’m not saying Wentz won’t develop into a quality NFL quarterback. The problem here is he missed out on a lot of valuable experience in the preseason. He’s barely even had time to digest that he will be the starter.
With Bradford I think the Eagles had a legit shot at winning the NFC East. I don’t believe that’s the case now with Wentz. I have major concerns with the psyche of this team. They know the plan isn’t to win right away with Wentz. That’s not an easy pill to swallow. If he doesn’t play well, this team could throw in the towel.
One thing young quarterbacks do is turn the football over at a high rate. As bad as the Browns may be, there’s enough talent on this team to beat the Eagles.
I fully expect Cleveland to come out and lay everything on the line in this game. Everyone is throwing this team under the bus and they want to prove that they are going to compete.
I’m a big fan of Jackson and really believe he’s going to turn the culture around. He might not have the weapons to threaten for a playoff spot, but he will have them playing at a much higher level than last year.
The Browns traded the opportunity to take Wentz because they believed in RGIII. I know he wore out his welcome in Washington, but when healthy he was a dynamic quarterback. He’s got some nice young weapons around him on offense and could surprise some people. No one will be playing with a bigger chip on their shoulder in this game than RGIII.
The NFL is all about finding value and I believe the value here is with the Browns. Note that Cleveland has gone a respectable 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 September games.