Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants: Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Aug. 22, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 1 p.m. ET; Aug. 22, 2021
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
Where to watch: NFL Network

Preseason to date
Giants: 0-1 (last game, lost 12-7 vs. Jets)
Browns: 1-0 (last game, won 23-13 at Jaguars)

Last week’s stats leaders


Giants:
Passing: Clayton Thorson -- 5-for-16, 72 yards, 1 touchdown
Rushing: Sandro Platzgummer -- 4 carries, 51 yards
Receiving: David Sills V -- 3 catches, 49 yards
Defense: Rodarius Williams -- 8 tackles

Browns:
Passing: Kyle Lauletta -- 19-for-27, 212 yards, 2 touchdowns
Rushing: Corey Taylor -- 6 carries, 17 yards
Receiving: Davion Davis -- 4 catches, 56 yards, 1 touchdown
Defense: Jeremiah Osusu-Koramoah -- 8 tackles, 1 sack

Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Browns -5.5, Giants +5.5
BetMGM: Browns -5.5, Giants +5.5
FanDuel: Browns -6, Giants +6

Larry Ness went 3-1-1 last week in the first set of NFL Preseason games. Keep an eye on our Shop Picks page to see what Larry and our other champion handicappers will do this week. Don’t miss that big winner, or any of their premium picks.

Browns - Giants preview


The Cleveland Browns will try to move to 2-0 on the preseason when they host the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium for their first home preseason game on Sunday.

Would you believe this is the first home game for the Browns since Jan. 3? And the Browns played three games since then? Expectations are high for Cleveland coming off a playoff appearance, and a surprising playoff win. One can only imagine what would’ve happened if they tackled Chad Henne on fourth down. A hearty hello to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Alas, the Browns are coming off a strong offensive output from quarterback Kyle Lauletta just under a week ago against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former Richmond signal caller was sacked only once and threw two touchdowns. Veteran quarterback Case Keenum also did well, going 12-for-17 for 115 yards.

It was an expected day off for Baker Mayfield and the first-team offense. The Cleveland backups were overshadowed by the Jacksonville debut of No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, but it was a strong day for the passing game. Davion Davis had a touchdown, and John Kelly and Demetric Felton also had four catches each. Former Dallas Cowboys receiver Ryan Switzer had the other receiving touchdown from Lauletta.

Imagine this being a regular season game and seeing Odell Beckham Jr. face his former team. That’s not likely to happen with Beckham listed as questionable with a knee injury. He was running full speed and did individual drills on Tuesday. Getting him back with Jarvis Landry is going to make Mayfield’s time a lot of fun in 2021. And we can’t forget about Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt as part of the Browns’ core to hopefully win the AFC North.

The Giants are just trying to have fun in general, and it’s been hard to do that. The boys in blue are coming off a 12-7 loss to the New York Jets in preseason Week 1 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. 

What we learned is the quarterback options are beyond limited past Daniel Jones. Clayton Thorson threw the only touchdown for the G-Men, but completed less than 33 percent of his passes to do it. Veteran Mike Glennon was 3-for-7 for 20 yards.

The sound you hear is Cowboys fans laughing at offensive coordinator Jason Garrett likely in for another long season.

But it looks like New York’s hope to stay relevant in the NFC East will come down to the Giants’ defense (along with some luck with the other teams’ rosters). Adoree Jackson is being brought in to save the Giants’ secondary that allowed nearly 240 passing yards per game last season, and are hoping to get big production from defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence.

Outside of that, it’s going to be a Dallas-Washington race to first place.

Betting trends


The Giants have won seven straight road games against the spread (+7) after scoring nine points or less in the previous game.

Opposite for the Browns: They’re 3-14 against the spread (-12.4 units) after a win by 10 or more.

Prediction


The moneyline will not be a fun pick in this one (most preseason games aren’t), but if you are going ML, the Browns seem like the obvious pick. We don’t expect Lauletta and Keenum to have another strong outing, but the Giants are that much of a wreck from the top down that this makes sense. Browns win 24-7.

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All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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