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Broncos at Browns – Thursday Night Preview

NFL 2008

Things never stay the same.

It used to be that the NFL’s Thursday sked would start on Thanksgiving Thursday but the league is moving things up this year.

The first Thursday game of the NFL season—not including the Opening Kickoff game—goes tonight with the Denver Broncos travelling to play the Browns in Cleveland with the home team listed as a 3.5-point favorite by SPORTSBETTING.COM with the Total set at 46.

The Browns have padded the pockets of their bettors covering the spread six out of the last eight times they’ve been favored by 4-points or less.

Although on top of the AFC West, the Denver Broncos are struggling, having dropped their last three games in a row straight up.

Most recently, the Broncos were upset as a 4.5-point favorite by the Miami Dolphins 26-17 in a game where WR Brandon Marshall only caught 2 passes for 27 yards.

To add insult to injury, Dolphins LB Joey Porter essentially called Marshall a whiner and soft.

Marshall responded by saying Porter was insecure and had “popcorn” muscles but the Broncos’ WR would have been better served paying more attention to this week’s opponent rather than last week’s.

The Broncos may be 4-4 SU but the team has been abysmal against the spread, failing to cover since their season opener against the Oakland Raiders, going 0-6-1 ATS after that.

Denver has a good opportunity to break out of its betting funk however, as historically, they have had success against AFC North teams.

Since 2002, the Broncos have gone 9-4 straight up (for your money line bettors) against the likes of Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and the Browns and are 4-1 ATS in the last five games.

Was the Cleveland Browns’ 10-6 season last year an aberration? So far in the 2008 regular season, Cleveland has already lost five games and in an ESPN SportsNation poll, 97.8 percent of respondents didn’t think that the team would make the postseason.

The team will bench last year’s starting QB Derek Anderson and start youngster Brady Quinn who has only attempted eight passes, completing three of them, for 45 yards in his brief career.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how Quinn reacts to his first start, playing on national TV.

SPORTSBETTING.COM has a “Will the Browns throw an interception” prop bet with Yes paying out at -170 and No at +135 and the former ND Fighting Irish QB is listed at +2000 to be the first player to score a major.

Cleveland has been profitable against AFC West competition lately, cashing in at a rate of 5-1 ATS in the last six games against the likes of the Raiders, Chargers and Chiefs; its lone loss came against the Broncos.

The two teams have only met three times since the re-establishing of the second-generation Browns with Denver going 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS and 2-1 on the Over/Under.

In Cleveland’s last nine games in November it has been a profitable 6-2-1 ATS while Denver has gone 3-6 ATS in its last nine November contests.

The playoffs aren’t that far away and Cleveland and Denver can stay in the race with a win tonight.

Enjoy the game the Thursday night NFL treat. Good luck this week.

 

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