Green Bay’s preseason debut was less than scintillating with the defending NFC North champions getting beat 21-13 by the Chargers in San Diego, but the Packers will have a second go tonight when they host the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field (8:00pm ET start time). NFL Preseason Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers odds have Aaron Rodgers and company listed as -3 against the spread favorites while the Browns, a 19-17 winner over the Lions in their exhibition opener, are drawing +130 moneyline odds ($100 to win $130) to improve to 2-0 in preseason play.
While the preseason provides no real indication of how a team will perform in the regular season, Green Bay may want to consider upping the ante in tonight’s clash with the Browns. The Packers saw last year’s playoff run end abruptly as the Giants defeated them 37-20 in a divisional round battle at Lambeau Field, and they did little to erase the memory of that loss in their nationally televised preseason opener at San Diego.
Green Bay's performance against the Chargers was down right ugly as it produced all of 14 first downs and 230 total yards. And the starters played a key role in stink fest with Aaron Rodgers completing 2-of-8 passes for 16 yards and an interception and the first team defense yielding a touchdown on San Diego’s second possession.
It is doubtful Head Coach Mike McCarthy will feel the need to make some sort of statement against Cleveland, but he, most definitely, will look for a better effort from his star quarterback and team this evening.
Word out of Cleveland is the Browns might actually treat tonight’s contest as a real tune up for the regular season. Head Coach Pat Shurmur indicated his first teamers could play the entire first half and possibly into the second.
The Browns could probably use the extra work given some of their injury (Trent Richardson, Chris Gocong)/suspension issues (Joe Haden); Cleveland needs to develop some cohesion with its fill-in starters before the games count for real. It would also provide the coaching staff a better opportunity to evaluate areas where rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden needs to improve.
Weeden, who was named the starter when Cleveland opened its training camp, saw limited reps in the Browns preseason opener at Detroit, completing 3-of-9 passes for 62 yards and an interception.
Game Notes: The average game score in the Packers last six preseason home games is a whopping 48.3. Green Bay posted a 5-1 record in those games, winning by an average of 14 points per game. The lone loss in that stretch came against the Browns, who beat the Packers 27-24 at Lambeau in August of 2010. The only game of those six to finish with fewer than 39 combined points was an August 2009 meeting between Cleveland and Green Bay which the Packers won 17-0.
Free Pick: Take the Over 40.5 in tonight’s game.
NFL Preseason Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers Odds:
Cleveland Browns +3 (-120), Over 40.5 (-110), +130 (Moneyline)
Green Bay Packers -3 (+100), Under 40.5 (-110), -150 (Moneyline)
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NFL Free Picks: Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers Betting:What Football bettors need to know about Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers on Thursday (8/18/12) - with Pregame.com's Scott Spreitzer and host Marco D'Angelo.