NFL odds: Giants vs. Browns Preseason Week 2 prediction, odds, pick, and more
It’s the Odell Beckham Jr. bowl in Cleveland on Sunday, as the two teams the star wide receiver has played for match up in Week 2 of the preseason. It’s time to continue our NFL odds series and make a Giants-Browns prediction and pick.
The Giants and Browns’ regular starting quarterbacks seem to be in different stages of their development as NFL players. While Daniel Jones has some work to do, Baker Mayfield has already emerged as a league star. Jones certainly has potential, but in his third year in the NFL, he’ll need to make a major leap to prove the Giants organization that he really is their quarterback of the future.
Neither of these QBs played in Week 1 though. The backups are likely to get the bulk of work in this matchup as well, so just like many other preseason games, it will be a battle at the backup quarterback position.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the lines for Sunday’s matchup.
NFL Odds: Giants-Browns Odds
Cleveland Browns -4 1/2 (-110)
New York Giants +4 1/2 (-110)
Over 34 1/2 points (-115)
Under 34 1/2 points (-105)
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Why The Giants Could Cover
One of the best Northwestern University quarterbacks of all-time is now with his third NFC East organization since being drafted by Philadelphia in 2019. After a brief stint in Dallas, Clayton Thorson is now in his second season with the Giants. He was primarily on the G-Men’s practice squad last season, but after an impressive showing last week, is competing for the backup role behind Jones. Against the Jets in the preseason opener, Thorson went 5 for 16, passing for 72 yards and a touchdown. He was also sacked four times by the Jets defense. Much is left to be desired by this performance, but it’s an encouraging sign for him that he still received the bulk of Giants snaps under center. Nonetheless, the Giants offense managed to put up just a lackluster seven points.
The Giants other backup option right now is veteran Mike Glennon, who is now with his sixth NFL team. After getting a handful of starts for Jaguars in 2020, Glennon signed with the Giants in the offseason. While he’s a good bet to serve as a mentor to Daniel Jones, even more so, his presence can benefit the inexperienced Thorson. Last week, Glennon attempted just seven passes, completing three of them and throwing for 20 yards. Based on experience, I’d lean toward Glennon winning the backup job, as he also has a solid amount of starting experience dating back to his time with the Buccaneers.
If Thorson can improve on his Week 1 numbers, with Glennon getting more snaps as well, the Giants backups otherwise should be able to cobble enough offense to cover the 4 1/2 point spread. I don’t think the Giants will win, but I do think they can keep this a low scoring game to stay within five points, similar to last week’s 12-7 loss versus the Jets.
Why The Browns Could Cover
Kyle Lauletta was one of the best quarterbacks in all of preseason Week 1 last week. Playing most of the snaps for the Browns, the former University of Richmond star went 19 for 27, throwing for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns. Although veteran Case Keenum got in 17 passing attempts as well, Lauletta’s dominance has got to be great news for Cleveland’s coaching staff. Although Lauletta was drafted back in 2018, he’s played in just two NFL regular season games – and doesn’t have much to show for it. He’s thrown five passes and an interception, not completing any passes. But this was one of his best career performances versus the Jaguars last week and I believe it was good enough that the Browns will give him a similar amount of snaps in Week 2.
Keenum has started 62 games in his NFL career and either will end up as a great veteran backup QB for the Browns, or – if Lauletta continues to dominate this preseason – a third string and/or organizational mentor for a young Browns team.
My bet? Lauletta dominates once again versus the Giants, brings the Browns to 2-0 in the preseason, and sets up a really interesting backup battle in the final preseason game.
In all likelihood, Keenum will still ultimately win the backup role when all is said and done – but I still think Lauletta shows out again and gives the Browns a comfortable Week 2 win.
Final Giants-Browns Prediction & Pick
After hyping up Kyle Lauletta so much, my pick here should seem rather obvious. The Browns are a much better team than the Giants nowadays, and that stems down to even the backup quarterbacks. The Giants offense remains stagnant while Lauletta helps puts up another 20+ on the board for a Cleveland offense that will be one of the NFL’s best this year. Browns by at least a touchdown.
FINAL PICK: Browns -4 1/2 (-110)