The Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions each open up the 2012 NFL Preseason on Friday night in the Motor City. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. EST start time and it will be televised on NFL RedZone. Currently the odds for the game have the Lions as 3-point favorites with the total set at 36 points.
The Lions made the post season last year for the first time in a while and now spirits are high in the Motor City. With a complement of quality receivers and elusive running backs, Matthew Stafford should have the offense ready to roll this time around. Last year Stafford became just the fourth quarterback ever to throw for more than 5,000 yards in a single season. The other three? Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Dan Marino. What's going to be better for Stafford moving forward is that his best receiver, Calvin Johnson, is better than any receiver either of the other three quarterbacks had. The young Lions QB should put up big numbers again this year.
Cleveland brings in first round draft pick Brandon Weeden, the quarterback from Oklahoma State. He replaces Colt McCoy, who got the quick boot from being under center and struggling a lot last season. However, that's the life of an NFL quarterback. The Browns are obviously in rebuilding mode yet again but with fellow first round draft pick Trenton Richardson at running back, they do have a pretty good QB-RB combo moving forward. Cleveland finished with just four wins last year and the schedule isn't going to do them any favors this year with games against Philly, Baltimore (twice), Buffalo, the Giants, San Diego, Dallas, Pittsburgh (twice) and Denver. The defense will say a lot about whether or not they improve from their 4-12 record from last season.
In this game tonight, expect a lot of third and fourth stringers to get on the field as teams look for depth in the preseason more than anything. Weeden might and probably should play several drives just based on getting reps, but don't expect Stafford to take a whole lot of snaps.
Free Pick: UNDER. There is no way the Browns are going to score enough points in this game to push the number of the posted total. Detroit was one of the best teams in the league last year at putting points on the board. In fact, they ranked fourth overall at just under 30 points per game. However, I don't think they're going to get anywhere close to that number by themselves tonight. We're expecting a low-scoring affair like most preseason games.
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NFL Free Picks: Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions BettingWhat Football bettors need to know about Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions on Friday (8/10/12) - with Pregame.com's Vegas Runner and host Marco D'Angelo.