Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars - 8/14/21 NFL Picks and Prediction

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0) vs Cleveland Browns (0-0)

Game Info: Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 7:00 pm (TIAA Bank Field)

Betting Odds: Jacksonville Jaguars -1.5 -- Over/Under: 37.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Cleveland Browns will travel to TIAA Bank Field to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this Saturday night in NFL Preseason action.

The Cleveland Browns are in a position that we’re not used to see as after finishing last season with an impressive 11-5 record, the Browns can be considered a true super bowl contender this season as they still have an explosive offense and made a splash in free agency to really build up their defense.

Cleveland’s offense will look pretty similar to last year’s squad as we see their main contributors returning. QB Baker Mayfield completed 62.8% of his passes for 3563 yards (222.7 yds/g), 26 TD’s, & 8 INT. Mayfield’s top receiving targets last season were Jarvis Landry (72 rec, 840 yards, 3 TD), Austin Hooper (46 rec, 435 yards, 4 TD), & Rashard Higgins (37 rec, 599 yards, 4 TD). The Browns will get their star receiver back in Odell Beckham Jr. (23 rec, 319 yards, 3 TD) after suffering a torn ACL last season. Cleveland has one of the best backfield duos in all of the NFL in Nick Chubb (190 att, 1067 yards, 12 TD; 16 rec, 150 yards) & Kareem Hunt (198 yards, 841 yards, 6 TD; 38 rec, 304 yards, 5 TD).

The Cleveland defense was a focal point in the off season after allowing 25.5 ppg while ranking just 24th in passing defense. Cleveland still has two of their most impactful players from last year’s defense in Myles Garrett & Denzell Ward while also spending their 1st two picks on the draft on the defense side of ball in CB Greg Newsome II & LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Cleveland will also get back Greedy Williams this season and did bring in the talented John Johnson III to help with the secondary.

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a season to forget last year, finishing the with just a 1-15 record, however, the Jaguars have a bunch of optimism this season after hiring Urban Mayer and drafting QB Trevor Lawrence with the top overall pick in last year’s draft.

Jacksonville will hope that their rookies can really jumpstart and offense that struggled last season averaging just 19.1 ppg. Trevor Lawrence has all the makings of a franchise QB and will be count upon right away, however, the Jaguars still have a solid backup option in fan favorite Gardner Minshew II who completed 66.1% of his passes last season for 2259 yards, 16 TD, & 5 INT. RB James Robinson (240 att, 1070 yards, 7 TD; 49 rec, 344 yards, 3 TD) was a pleasant surprise for the Jaguars last season and will be paired with Travis Etienne who was Lawrence’s teammate at Clemson and also taken in the 1st round of last year’s draft. Jackson has some decent talent at the WR position, and which should be led by DJ Clarke, Marvin Jones Jr, Laviska Shenault, & Phillip Dorsett II.

Jacksonville brought in a new defensive coordinator in the former Baltimore Ravens defense line coach, Joe Cullen, and he will need to work some magic with a Jaguars defense that allowed 30.8 ppg last season. Jacksonville did get help for their defense line w/ adding Roy Robertson-Harris (Bears) & Jihad Ward (Ravens) and will have some new faces in the secondary in safety Andre Cisco (3rd round pick), CB Shaquill Griffin, & safety Rayshawn Jenkins.

The Browns are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, however, are just 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games vs. AFC opponents. The Jaguars are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Saturday games, however, are just 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games as a favorite.

Cleveland will no doubt be the better team when the regular season comes, however, this is not the regular season, and it looks as if the Browns won’t be playing many of their starters in this one. Jacksonville and Urban Mayer I imagine will try to make a splash in their first live performance and as I think Gardner Minshew II won’t be much of a drop off compared to Lawrence when he gets into the game, I think Jacksonville does enough to get the victory here and cover this small spread. Good Luck!

Brett’s Pick Jacksonville Jaguars -1.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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