The new-look Cleveland Browns host the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 of the 2019-20 NFL season on Sunday after a busy summer filled with off-season acquisitions. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on September 8th at FirstEnergy Stadium and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Browns listed as 5.5-point home favorites. That line has yet to change after early betting, as Cleveland is currently available at -4. The total for this matchup is 45.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 1 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Browns vs Titans Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview
For the first time in a long time, there is a ton of positive hype surrounding Cleveland and their playoff chances. The Browns had a fantastic offseason, as they added plenty of additional star-power on both sides of the ball. To start with, Odell Beckham Jr. and Kareem Hunt join Baker Mayfield and the rest of a resurgent offense that averaged 22.4 points per game (19th overall). Hunt will certainly be a bit of an x-factor, especially considering the fact that he is suspended for half the season and is only eligible to return for eight regular season games. However, if he can return to the same form he had during his time in Kansas City, the Browns ground attack will be a force to be reckoned with. Beckham Jr. will get a chance to help the offense right away, as he joins Jarvis Landry as part of a Cleveland passing attack that averaged 250.4 yards per game through the air in 2018 (14th overall).
The Browns also made a big splash on the defensive side of the ball, adding Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon to a group that gave up an average of 24.5 points per game last season (21st overall). Both should be a big help against the run in particular, as the Browns consistently struggled to stop the rush throughout the year and allowed teams to gain an average of 135.2 yards per game on the ground (28th overall).
Despite finishing at a respectable 9-7, the Titans still failed to qualify for the playoffs after making it to the divisional round in 2017. Tennessee was in the hunt all the way down the stretch but couldn’t find a way to beat Indianapolis at the very end of December to punch their ticket to the postseason. QB Marcus Mariota had another fairly inconsistent season, which was probably the biggest reason why the Titans averaged just 19.4 points per game (27th overall). The passing attack in general was quite anemic, averaging only 185.9 yards per game through the air (29th overall). To help address this, Tennessee acquired Adam Humphries from the Bucs and drafted former Ole Miss star A.J. Brown in the second round. If things turn out as the front office hopes they do, it should create even more room for a rushing attack that averaged an impressive 126.7 yards per game on the ground (6th overall).
The Titans were one of the NFL’s best scoring defenses in 2018, surrendering an average of just 18.9 points per game. Tennessee was especially dominant against the pass, as their secondary gave up only 216.9 yards per game through the air (6th overall). However, they were a bit below average against the run, allowing opponents to rush for 116.4 yards per game on the ground (19th overall).
Free NFL Betting Predictions and ATS Pick: Browns -5.5
Although this could come back to bite me, I’m drinking the kool-aid on this new look Cleveland team here in Week 1- especially at home. Expectations are simply too high for them to come out with a dud, especially against a below average Tennessee offense that hasn’t improved enough to come out firing directly out of the gate. Yes, Brown and Humphries should help what was a very weak passing attack in 2018. However, the Titans will likely remain a run-first team for the time being, especially after having so much success on the ground last year with Derrick Henry. I don’t really like his matchup this week, despite initial appearances. The Browns were brutal against the run in 2018, but this simply isn’t the same defense after the addition of Richardson and Vernon.
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On offense, the Browns have an embarrassment of riches for the first time in a long time. Even with Hunt on the shelf for the first eight games, the Cleveland running attack shouldn’t miss a beat. Nick Chubb proved he was more than capable of handling workhorse duties on the ground, as the sophomore RB is coming off a rookie campaign where he finished just four yards shy of his first 1,000 yard season. Baker Mayfield also has all the weapons he needs to continue to progress in his sophomore season, as the receiving duo of Beckham Jr. and Landry should be quite a handful for opposing secondaries. Even if a solid Titans secondary manages to slow one of them down, Cleveland simply has too firepower for the Tennessee offense to keep up. Henry can’t do it all on his own and Mariota has shown a real tendency to be turnover prone in the past – I’m going to lay the points and roll with the home favorite to cover. Give me the Browns!