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2007 Season NFL Football Past Picks

August 30, 2007

30

Cleveland at Chicago

Thursday 08/30 08:00 PM Eastern

4 units on Cleveland +3.5 (-125) (risk 4 to return 4)  RESULT: WIN

Romeo Crennel likes to win in the preseason. He's 7-4 now in preseason contests. His team is getting four points from Chicago. It's not a big surprise given that the Bears are 3-0 this season. But, Chicago is only 1-2 ATS. In the two games they were favored, they did not cover. We expect the same result here with Cleveland either winning or keeping it within a field goal. Chicago's defense has steadily allowed more points in each game this preseason going from 19 to 24 to 28. That's a lot of points to give up (24 per game). Cleveland is allowing just 17 per game on average. Again, stats are not THAT meaningful in the preseason but they can be used to judge intent. Crenel has more to play for right now. He needs wins more than Lovie Smith, to instill confidence for the regular season. The Browns would very much like to enter the regular season on a high note and a 3-1 record vs. a low note and a mediocre 2-2 record. For the Bears, this season is about getting back to the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl - they could care less about the preseason. As we mentioned when we faded Chicago in week one, Super Bowl teams from the prior year own a poor record in the preseason (now 41-51-7 ATS which includes 2-4 this season). Chicago coaches were very happy with how the starters played last week as their offense looked good scored on all four of their first posessiosn (three TDs and a FG) while the defense allowed 44 yards and one first down in the first half. We suspect that was it for the Bears this preseason. We expect them now to take it easy. In fact, a quote from Chicago WR Desmond Clark after that game says it all: "We wanted to establish confidence going into the regular season." Uh Desmond, there's one more preseason game, buddy! In contrast, the Browns seem to be taking this last game seriously. Charlie Frye gets the start and he said this week, "We want to go out there and put back-to-back good performances together and use it as a carry-over into the Pittsburgh week. We don't want to take a step backwards after we took a couple steps forward." The Bears are now 2-6 ATS in their last eight preseason games when favored by 4 or less points. Cleveland is 12-4 ATS in their last 16 preseason games. Take the Browns plus the points here.


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