After a grueling preparation period so far, the Washington Commanders open their preseason slate at the Cleveland Browns on Friday evening.
After a pretty comprehensive and testing training camp for the Washington Commanders so far, players will be relieved to reach the point where it's time to start hitting people other than their teammates. A trip to the Cleveland Browns awaits to begin their preseason calendar, which is a good measuring stick for Ron Rivera and his staff to see where certain individuals are in terms of development.
While the Commanders aren't likely to risk the likes of Chase Young, Logan Thomas, or any other established figure guaranteed an important role, Rivera could decide to trot out the revamped offensive line in the hope it can improve cohesion. There's also a chance some of the younger guys might get work to find their football legs.
This environment is also the best chance many will have of getting their foot in the door. Showing out in practice is one thing, but making a play in a setting such as this leaves a much bigger impression when discussions begin ahead of final cuts.
Commanders at Browns odds for preseason Week 1
According to the latest odds from FanDuel Sportsbook, the Commanders are 3.0-point underdogs at the Browns on Friday evening. This can be bet at -110 in both directions depending on which way you think the points spread will go (bet $110 to win $100).
Anyone that fancies Washington on the money line can get them at a tempting +130 (bet $100 to win $130), with Cleveland's home-field advantage giving them the edge per FanDuel at -155 (bet $155 to win $100).
The over/under for the contest is set at 38.5 points currently:
- Under 38.5 points: -105 (bet 105 to win $100)
- Over 38.5 points: -115 (bet $115 to win $100)
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Commanders at Browns prediction for preseason Week 1
Preseason games are hard to predict at the best of times. Both teams are unlikely to play the majority of their starters in this one, although Rivera hasn't ruled out the possibility of giving quarterback Sam Howell some time given his need for live-fire reps before taking the field in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.
We'll see a lot of second and third-stringers after the first quarter, one suspects. But the urgency will be high when one considers most everyone participating in prominent reps is looking to earn a place on the 53-man roster.
In some ways, the result is insignificant. Obviously, building momentum would be useful in some capacity for the Commanders having into such an important campaign, but it's not the end of the world so long as everyone stays clear of injury.
Betting on preseason contests should be done with extreme caution. As the old saying goes - a fool and his money are soon parted - so instead of the result, it might be wise to focus more on prop bets and the over/under heading into the game.
That said, betting under 38.5 points seems like a solid wager at -105 with FanDuel Sportsbook (bet $105 to win $100). Especially considering how disjointed things can be from an offensive standpoint with players who might not even be on NFL rosters come Week 1.