2008 Season NFL Football Past Picks
September 07, 2008
This pick was released to clients on December 31, 1969 at 9:00PM ET.
Dallas at Cleveland
Sunday 09/07 04:15 PM Eastern
3 units on Game Total UNDER 48.5 -110 (risk 3 to return 3) RESULT: win
5 units on Cleveland +7 (-115) (risk 5 to return 5) RESULT: loss
Cleveland may still be the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL odds-makers. Even after an incredible 2006 season, they still get no respect. Or maybe it's just that the public loves Dallas. How else can you explain a 10-win team getting over a field goal at home? This is a team that came into its own last season after a 2-3 start. The difference was a QB in Derek Anderson that could lead the team down field consistently. Anderson threw for nearly 4,000 yards, and finished with 29 TD tosses. Romeo Crennel benched Charlie Frye in the first half of the opener vs the Steelers, and never looked back. Once Anderson got it going the Browns finished good, going 8-3 behind Anderson. His success had a side effect that largely went unnoticed. The Browns defense was on the field constantly early, and allowed 30+ points in seven of the first ten games. Down the stretch, the Browns defense was much better, as they were on the field less and less, getting blows by an offense that could stay on the field. They did not allow a 30 point game in their last six. A defense that had allowed 29.4 ppg over the first 10 was suddenly allowing 14.7 ppg in their last six. The Browns went 7-0 SU and 7-0 ATS with Anderson as their starter at home. That includes 2-0 as a home dog. Dallas opened the season at 12-1 last year, the only blemish was quite excusable, to the New England Patriots. Something happened to this team from that point on, however. They finished 1-3, and suddenly a team that scored no less than 24 points in each of the first 13 games, could muster just 6, 20, 6 and 17 in their final four games (12 ppg). They failed to cover the spread in all five of their final games. A lot had to do with the disappointing finish by Tony Romo. He was just 66-130 over those last four games, with just two TD's compared to 5 INT's. Romo has been plagued by ups and downs in his short career, and his lack of consistency has hurt the Cowboys when they needed him the most. The Cowboys struggled in games at Detroit, Buffalo, and Carolina - all teams they should of walked all over. They couldn't cover the number in any of those games as a road favorite. I think the Browns can stay with this Dallas team, as they proved they could hang with anyone last year at the dog-pound. An upset isn't out of the question. The improvements shown by this Cleveland team on the defensive end once they had a competent offense gives them hope. Combine that with the Dallas decline late last season, and the fact that it is week one, where teams aren't in sync yet, and you have a recipe for a low-scoring affair. This game has the highest total for week one, pushing close to 50. Neither offense will be in mid-season form yet, so I'll take the UNDER too.