Cleveland Browns (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS, 0-3 O/U) vs. Chicago Bears (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS, 2-1 O/U)
NFL: Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. EST
The Line: Chicago Bears -3. Total: 36.
The Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns will wrap up their preseason campaigns when they square off at Soldier Field in Chicago on Thursday night. Cleveland is off to a perfect 3-0 start–something it is not expected to do when the real thing rolls around, of course. The Bears have won two in a row at the expense of Arizona and Tennessee.
Kizer the guy
Browns’ head coach Hue Jackson named rookie DeShone Kizer his team’s starting quarter in an announcement this past weekend. Jackson said he made his decision after watching the former Notre Dame signal-caller play in the first half against Tampa Bay last Saturday night. Kizer handled himself well despite completed only six of 18 pass attempts for 93 yards with one interception. He was plagued by poor field position and dropped passes in addition to his interception. Cleveland ended up beating the Buccaneers 13-9.
“He’s earned the right to play through his preparation,” Jackson said of Kizer. “He’s established a work ethic that has earned the respect of his teammates. He still has a lot to learn. He’s going to learn a lot and gain a lot of experience and the only way you get that is by playing. And we’re all excited about that.”
Versus hometown team
Second overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky, one of the Bears’ quarterbacks, played his high-school football in Mentor, Ohio near Cleveland. Thus he will be going up against his hometown team on Thursday. There is no reason to think Trubisky won’t have success against the Browns, because he has been stellar in the preseason. The former University of North Carolina standout went 10-of-15 for 128 yards and a touchdown in Chicago’s 19-7 road win over Tennessee last Sunday. He tossed a45-yard touchdown strike to Tanner Gentry on his team’s second possession, a drive that went 75 yards in four minutes. That came following performances against Arizona and Denver in which Trubisky combined to complete 72.7 percent of his passes for 226 yards and two scores.
The Cleveland Browns are:
- 5-20-1 ATS in their last 26 overall
- 0-3-1 ATS in their last four road games
- 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games on grass
The Chicago Bears are:
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven overall
- 4-1 ATS in their last five home games
- 4-1 Over in their last five games on grass
Trubisky is playing well, but the Bears may not be ready to throw him to the wolves as a rookie. Mike Glennon has also looked good in the preseason and is the team’s likely starter. Whatever the case, Chicago has solid options at quarterback–both for Thursday and for the regular season. The Browns are 5-20-1 ATS in their last 26 overall, 0-3-1 ATS in their last four on the road, and 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven on grass. Chicago is 5-2 ATS in its last seven overall and 4-1 ATS in its last five at home. Look for those trends to continue.