Brad and Russ embark on their inaugural episode with a 2020 AFC North breakdown. Russ gives his favorite win total and division winner bet and Brad throws in an AFC North Week 1 bet.

Bradley:
What is going on, guys?

Bradley:
Welcome to the first PreSnapPicks podcast. I’m your host, Bradley Porras, joined by my co-host, great friend. Passionate sports fan and more importantly, someone who loves to sweat a fourth quarter Patty Mahomes comeback, my guy, Russ Vaughan.

Bradley:
What’s going on? Russ?

Russell:
What’s up, Brad? You gave me a little bit of a little bit of slack, not only do I sweated out my hair line, it’s getting thin it’s getting thin.

Bradley:
It’s getting to your hairline and getting to my my like my thick black hair is starting to turn white. If I have to watch the Houston Texans football this much longer, I’ll be completely gray by in the next five to 10 years.

Bradley:
Bill O’Brien’s killing me, man.

Russell:
I got like bald patches that are popping up in the back of my beard is like three different shades of white slash, grey slash blonde. It’s killing me.

Bradley:
Well, it’s what we enjoy. And guys, thanks for thanks for listening. Just wanted to let you know a little bit of what you’re going to get from the show. We work in accounting and we work in numbers with our day jobs.

Bradley:
This is not our day jobs, but we love sports and we love betting on the NFL. We don’t have a model. We don’t have algorithms. We go with our gut. We watch the games and we respect the numbers. I mean, I’m going to probably try and follow the numbers a little bit more tightly when it comes to the lines or different analytical things. Russ is going to be more of the the passionate going to follow his gut guy just a little bit more. But, you know, I’m definitely in the boat with you there, too. Russ You got anything to add?

Russell:
The only thing else I would add is, Brad, you’re probably a little bit more in tune with the college game than I am. Yeah. Growing up in Boston, I mean, all we do is win focus on the the professional sports teams were so damn good. Its title, Why do you need college players. Right. Why you need it. Why didn’t you sink your teeth into the college game when you got Tom Brady winning six yet the Celtics went in 08, 2011. The Bruins. I mean, I got it all at the end. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I would rely on Brad’s tips, you know, at the college level a little bit more to I mean, it’s a s.E.C.

Bradley:
Country Boy down here, down here in the South this SEC country. We’re here to play some college football. Don’t tell you that. College football away from us aint COVID gonna stop us. Well, Russ, let’s get into it, my man, a AFC North preview. It’s going to be our first show for you. You’re the one you have a bet in this division that that you feel pretty strongly about. You may be able to persuade me to get into it. Uh, we’ll see. Maybe you can get me on the show, but we’ll start with the AFC, AFC North and we’ll start at the bottom.

Bengals

Bradley:
The Bengals, the Cincinnati Bengals coming off their two and fourteen season where they landed the golden prize, Joe Burrow of the LSU Tigers. Fifteen and O most historic. That was a bad bad. O, it wasn’t that bad O.

Russell:
Historic season sounded a little that sounded a little Waterboy ish, like they got back to my roots.

Bradley:
Regardless, LSU was phenomenal last year, fifteen and O, they got Joe Burrow, Bengals defense was horrible last year, 30th in DVOA, by football outsiders, but they have some promise this year.

Bradley:
Return of AJ Green return on their first round pick from twenty nineteen. Jonah Williams again. Joe Burrow.

Bradley:
How do you see the Bengals playing out in 2020 Russ us with their win total, sitting around five and a half?

Russell:
So I think one of the common themes with the AFC North is just there’s just so many question marks and you can kind of extrapolate that in the NFL generally year over year, that so much parity in the league, so many it’s everyone is basically meant to go eight and eight. When I look at the Bengals, I do think you’re going to see I mean, I don’t think you’re going to see much regression. How far can you go lower than what they went last year at two and 14. So I think you do see an improved Bengals team, but like you mentioned, twenty ninth and defense last year or I’m sorry, 30th in defense last year. Twenty ninth in offense. Zach Taylor did not impress me. No. I’ll run through a couple stats that lead me to believe that or just I loose. I’ve lost trust already. And Zach Taylor, based on what I saw last year, you are getting an improved Bengals team. I think Joe Burrow revitalizes that team. You’re getting your biggest weapon in AJ Green back. You’ve got one of the, you know, the best backs in Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd, you know, you’ve got a quality. You’ve got weapons on the offensive side.

Bradley:
Boyd in the slot this year could be deadly.

Russell:
You know, that’s a side a little bit. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, he he was a little less effective last year when AJ Green was out and he was the number one, but he wasn’t a dud either. He still put up good numbers. So and he’s even more lethal when you have AJ Green. Kind of consuming a lot of a lot of the attention on the offensive side of the ball, so. I’m if I had to lean one way, I’m not going to bet it, but if I had to lean one way, I would go under. And this is two kind of two things. I don’t know what it is. But I just have a sour taste in my mouth with Heisman Trophy winners I like, Burrow, I hope he does well, I hope Cincy he turns it around. But, you know, I see I see especially guys going to these bottom feeder teams, you know, Johnny Manziel, Baker Mayfield, What about Kyler, my guy Kyler last year. And that’s the thing. That’s that’s the thing. It’s it’s split. You know, you can have some guys that come in and and can turn it around. Kyler had a great year last year. A little inconsistent, but I mean, he’s a young kid.

Bradley:
He’s going, oh, yes, it was he played much, much better at the end of the year than the beginning, for sure. Yeah, that’s for sure.

Russell:
And I would I mean. You have some pieces on the offensive side of Arizona’s ball, but I don’t know, I like I like Cincy’s weapons better than I think I do Arizona at least last year. Yeah, but I mean, the main key here is Zach Taylor. Mm hmm. A couple of stats. The Bengals last year were tied. Twenty fourth in missed tackles.

Russell:
That isn’t a skill problem.

Russell:
These are all NFL players they should be able to tackle. That’s just that’s a coaching problem. You need to tell them the fundamentals of how to tackle, how to tackle. Well, set the precedent early that we’re not going to miss tackles and kind of just key on it a little bit in practice.

Russell:
This year, they had 42 second half drives without a TD. Where’s your preparation? Where’s your ability to adapt to to the game script? Those are two two stats that pop up to me. And I just think, is this guy qualified?

Russell:
Can he can he coach in the NFL? Can he coach? A bad team in the NFL. I don’t know.

Russell:
And then the last piece. If if.

Russell:
If you want to bet the other side, five and a half, the one thing I will say, the one thing I’ll give the Bengals the benefit of the doubt on, they lost seven one score games last year. Yeah, you add a couple of key pieces and burrow, you get AJ Green back. If Zach Taylor does fine tune a couple of things, they’re going to be better than 2 and 14. Just does that push them, you know, basically four games higher and get them to that six. But I don’t know for sure.

Bradley:
I mean, if I had to bet it, I’m not I keep going back and forth on it.

Bradley:
If I had to bet I’d go over, I really would. Because as much as their defense was poor last year, they spent a ton on the defense last year. And Trey Weynes at corner D.J. Reader in the middle on the defensive line, Von Bell at safety and McKenzie Alexander corner back. Their defense should be vastly improved from being a bottom five defense. Their offense is again having between Tee Higgens, AJ Green, Tyler Boyd as weapons to go along with Joe Mixon, who is a monster and running back who just didn’t really have a line to block for him in front of him. Now they’re going to get their first round pick back from last year. I feel like they have the they have the team, they have the talent to go over it. The reason I won’t let them over is Zach Taylor.

Bradley:
I just I don’t know.

Bradley:
I just don’t know if he’s going to be the one to put them over the top. So I’m leaning over, but I’m not betting over on the Bengals. One of the one thing that I did like about their defense last year is they ranked third in red zone defense. That’s pretty dang good. So, I mean, maybe there is some promise there from the coaching side of the staff and defense if they were able to hold their own in the red zone. But if they can add some some of these big free agent names and they get some of their explosive offensive players back. I’m more inclined to think over before I go under on the Bengals, but again, I’m not betting it.

Russell:
So from them, yes, the addition, the the additions to the offensive line, I get really worried about a new quarterback, first year quarterback with a bad offensive line that’s just a recipe for disaster. Did the Bengals do enough to secure that to give Joe Burrow time to make decisions? He’s going to be a little slower. He’s going to you know, he’s going to have to catch up. There’s going to be that learning curve. Like you said, Kyler, was much better second half of the season than the first half of the season. And if you look at I mean, sitting at five and a half, you can’t afford.

Bradley:
A slow start, yeah, no, I mean, oh, great, since he was ranked twenty sixth in offensive adjusted line yards on their offensive line and in pass protection last year, they ranked 20th. So in adding Jonah Williams, does that solve the problem? No. Does it improve the offensive line? Yeah, for sure. But it doesn’t solve the problem. So, I mean, I can get down with you on that one. I’m not really being sure if the offensive line is going to be able to give the rookie quarterback enough time to to assess the field and do some damage despite having weapons.

Russell:
And I mean, Kyler has a little bit of an outright I mean, that dude’s quick, he can scramble, he can make something out of nothing. Joe Burrows, more of your standard pocket passer. He’s going to need a little bit of time. Yeah, he’s going to you know, he’s a thrower. First, not to say that Kylers is not a thrower first, but he can bail you out with his legs.

Bradley:
No.

Ravens

Bradley:
All right, so starting from the bottom, we I mean, obviously Russ leaning under I’m leaning over, but no bets for us there on the Bengals. So we’re going to head to the top of the division, to the the Baltimore Ravens coming off a 12 and 4 best in football season. Ground and pound Lamar MVP torched to me last year. I beat him under eight and a half. I didn’t think Lamar could pass. And guess what? He can pass more than pass. He can stinkin and run. He ran by everybody. They led the league in rushing efficiency number one offense in the league. Their defense was a top ten, fifteen defense in most metrics as well. They did struggle a little bit defending the run, and that’s where their season ended last year. To King Henry and the Titans running down their throat in the playoffs, they will face the fourth easiest schedule in 2020 to go along with their stacked team.

Bradley:
Where do you think the Ravens end up in 2020, Russ?

Russell:
So they’re sitting at the win total right now is 11 and a half. Hmm. I have them coming in slightly under 11 wins. They’re going to grab 11 wins, they’re going to go 11 and 5. You’re going to see a little bit of regression, 14 and 2 stellar year. Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a little I was talking to you a little bit about, you know, off there. But, yeah, it’s kind of a character flaw of mine at this point to continuously underrate or devalue the Ravens.

Russell:
And yeah, I think it stems from 20 years of watching Tom Brady as my quarterback. I just I hate the running. I hate the running quarterback. Throw the ball, sit back in the pocket, pass the ball, pick, you know, pick your, pick and choose your spots and kill them with your arm.

Bradley:
And that’s what made them so deadly, though, the fact that that’s what everybody does and that’s how you play the NFL game. That’s how the game is tailored with offensive, I’m sorry defensive pass interference being so prevalent, safeties not being able to lay the lumber across the middle, protecting receivers, quarterbacks being protected. Well, you know, no hands to the face. No, I’m in the face. No hitting them low, like the quarterback passing the ball through the air. Exciting, touchdowns. That’s what the fans want to see. That’s the way the game is tailored to play. And that’s what made the Ravens different and made them special last year. They not only did they have a running attack, they had a phenomenal running attack in a generational type talent running the ball. I mean, we haven’t seen anyone run the ball in the NFL like that since Mike Vick. And I mean, Lamar was arguably better than Mike Vick.

Russell:
Yeah, I mean, I haven’t seen I mean, I feel like Lamar was the best running back in the NFL last year and he’s a quarterback, some of them move like he would just make defenses look silly. I think it’s a little different this year. The Ravens, you know, two years ago, there were a solid team. They lost the KC first. First, you know, I think the first go round.

Bradley:
Yeah. Oh, Chargers. And, you know, they were kind of.

Russell:
They were kind of just on the up and up, like you were starting to see glimpses of what the Ravens actually are today. Mm hmm. Last year, they’re still kind of like, who are the Ravens? They’re still, you know, few question marks.

Russell:
Can Lamar be a quarterback long term in this in the NFL? Obviously, the answer to that question now is yes. Mm hmm. I mean, the Ravens have a target on their back now. They are the team that them and the Chiefs AFC. NFC teams are planning to beat the Ravens and the Chiefs. That’s who you have to prepare for. So the Ravens need to have more of a balanced attack. They need to Lamar needs to show that he can progress in and throwing to supplement his his the Ravens run attack because at the end of the day, NFL defenses are going to adapt. They’re going to figure out a way to stop the Ravens run, at least to some degree. And the Ravens are going to have to prove that they can pass that Lamar can pass. And so until I I see it and feel confident in it, I can’t sit here and say that I feel comfortable with the Ravens grabbing 12 wins next year or this year. I mean, that’s a lot of wins in the NFL.

Bradley:
Yeah, no, I mean, I agree. I could I could see the argument. It’s the kind of argument I went with last year was, oh, the formula to beating the Ravens was laid out by the Chargers in the playoffs. But I mean, that was one game. You have a whole season of seeing how to beat them. But, you know, maybe sometime it’s like one of those pitchers in baseball, you know, that you know what they’re going to throw. I mean. I mean. I mean, name it. I mean, when the pitchers you see like a stinking Ottavino for the Yankees, I mean, you got McCullers for the Astros, like someone who just got a ridiculous curveball. Slider Brad Lidge back his day. Mariano threw Mariano Cutter’s whole career the whole time. It’s, you know, what’s coming.

Bradley:
Can you hit it?

Bradley:
You know what’s coming with the Ravens, it’s Lamar Jackson in the run attack. It’s Lamar, it’s Ingram and I love JK Dobbins,the addition out of Ohio State. I love JK. I thought he should have been one of the first running backs off the board.

Bradley:
I beat him under his. I don’t remember what it was, but I beat him under his draft position. I lost that because he went over. He fell to the fifty fifth pick. I think JKs phenomenal. I think that’s a great addition to their team. Again, they did struggle on defense stopping the run. They address that right away with Patrick Queen, Patrick Queen from LSU at linebacker. And then Justin Madubuike, a book from Texas A&M at defensive tackle. They knew what they struggled with and they tried to address it with two of their top three picks. And then they compounded their strength with Jake Dobbins running the ball to try and help take some pressure off Ingram. I think the Ravens are going to be really good. I mean, I was down on last year, you know, maybe maybe I’m wrong and they go under this year, but I think I think they’re going to be really good. There’s really not more to say. They were a phenomenal team. If they can be better against the run and they’re foolproof, they’re bulletproof as long as Lamar stays healthy. If I had to bet the Ravens on it, I’d go over on the Ravens. I would, because they’re a force. They’re a force in the NFL. They’re an elite team. But I’m not going to do because twelve is a lot of wins to ask for in the NFL. It’s a lot of wins. Takes one injury, a couple of bad weeks, a couple of bad stretch to go under on that high number.

Russell:
So, yeah, I mean, you make a good point. They’re super. When I when I think about the Ravens, I think they’re very balanced team. They also very a very solid defense. For so many years, the Ravens had that’s kind of their identity, or at least previously it was their their defensive makeup. And I think you’re going to see a strong D of them as well. So the only the only other point I would make on the Ravens is, yes, they beat the AFC North in general, has has a weak schedule. But you look at some of the teams the Ravens are going to play, it could give them fits.

Bradley:
Yeah, no. Yeah. They got some tough stretches, though.

Russell:
Yeah. Yeah. And I don’t even know if it would have I would classify it as tough stretches, just kind of teams in there that can run the ball you’ve got. Yeah. Cleveland proved it last year that they can run the ball on them. Pittsburgh has one of the best offensive offensive lines. And again, you have to face you have the face, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, twice the Colts, because not only can Patty Mahomes kill you with his arm, but I mean, when you’re that lethal throwing the ball, it’s going to open up on the inside, too. And KC is going to be able to run on you. Tennessee, they’re playing Tennessee again. And there’s some teams throughout their schedule that are going to be able to run the ball on them. So it just gives me pause on that on that 12 number. So, again, I’m with you, Brad. I’m not going to bet it, but if I had to, I would go under. I think they’re sitting at 11 and 5.

Bradley:
So one last thing to wrap it up, they begin to address their run defense. They also they traded for Calais Campbell, who while he’s getting older, he’s still a bad dude. He’s a bad dude in the defensive interior. So they knew what their problem was. And they’re making a run for the Superbowl this year. There’s no any other way around it already, Russ. No better for us there either.

Browns

Bradley:
Let’s move on back to Ohio, to the Cleveland Browns.

Bradley:
The Browns and 2019 were the hype team in the NFL, but they got they fell short.

Bradley:
The Browns. Went six and 10, had a smattering of talent, didn’t it didn’t it seem like they didn’t?

Russell:
It seemed like their win total last year was higher than 6 and 10.

Bradley:
Their win total was, I think around nine. I think they were around nine. The win totals was around nine or nine and a half.

Bradley:
Super Bowl hype, for sure, the hype team of twenty nineteen talent from OBJ, to Baker, to Chubb, to Myles Garrett, but were they doomed from the start by their head coach in Freddy Kitchens? Did he just pull the wool over their eyes in 18 in the final games of the year running play action and Baker down, throwing down the field, run and dance and rah rah Colin Cowherd down on it was Colin, right is Baker.

Bradley:
The problem was Freddy the problem?

Bradley:
I think at least Freddie’s the problem. I still have my question marks about Baker. They will play the third easiest schedule in 2020. They have a new head coach, Kevin Stefanski, coming over from the Vikings. I’m not high on the Vikings. And Kirk Cousins, he’s the analytics guy. That’s who won them over there in Cleveland. Get the head coach job was his analytics pitch.

Bradley:
How do you see the Browns playing out in 2020 Russ?

Russell:
Right now, when total set at eight and a half, I have the Browns going a very solid standard, Browns eight and eight under, I like the under. To your point, Brad, I think I’m less concerned with Baker has his flaws.

Russell:
I when you how do you sign, Freddy, my issues with the Cleveland Browns management, they’ve proven to me over and over again that they’re just incompetent upstairs. Freddie Kitchens was way overmatched. He shouldn’t have been the coach of that team. A team that’s struggling year in and year out. There needs to be some consistency and it needs to start at the top. It needs to start with with ownership, management and coaching. You have studs on on both sides of the ball there. Granted, a lot of them have ego. A lot of the guys on the Browns have ego. You need someone who’s going to come in level set and and be the the moderator. Freddie Kitchens wasn’t that guy. Can Kevin Stefanski be that guy? I have my reservations about that, too. I just don’t trust this team. I don’t trust the Browns. You also think Kevin Stefanski is coming in? There’s a new offense. Trying to change the culture, these are two big things that are happening in such a condensed, weird time with covid the pandemic, no preseason. I mean, sure you can you can hold a couple of Zoom meetings, but it’s a different thing to actually walk through it in practice, get the guys together, rebuild that culture, rebuild that trust.

Russell:
Those are tall tasks that I’m not sure the Browns are up to in order to be three wins better than last year. So I have them sitting at eight and eight.

Bradley:
Yeah, I, um, I went over their schedule last night and then again this morning and.

Bradley:
I came to eight and eight as well, although I for some reason I felt like I was higher on them. I do think the Browns have the potential to be a good team. They have the potential to be a good team. Last year, it really again, it all falls to coaching lots of times in the NFL to you really only have to look at the head coach to see, you know, how a team is going to perform or who to bet on. I mean, you can literally just blindly just cover all the the rosters and the team name and just pick the coach and pick the coach you want to bet on. You know, that being up there in Boston and seeing Bill Belichick just dominate in and out no matter what’s on his way. So it really comes down to Stefanski because they have the the players on both offense and defense. The I think the main reason I was a little bit high on the Browns is because of Stefanski and where he came from. Although I’m not a big Kirk Cousins fan, I wasn’t huge on the Vikings last year.

Bradley:
They ran the ball a lot.

Bradley:
I mean, it was Kirk Cousins just handing off to Dalvin Cook. And I think the Browns have the potential to be a better version of the twenty nineteen Vikings. Their offensive line was poor, but they shured it up with their first overall pick who fell to them, Jedrick Wills out of Alabama. And then I went out and signed big for fourteen million dollars, Jack Conklin from the Titans. So they bookended their offensive line to go with Nick Chubb, a phenomenal running back and Kareem Hunt, a one-two explosive punch out of the backfield. I mean, if you can see if you can see maybe more to two tightend sets running the ball with Chubb, Hunt passing to Odell, that just kind of give him more of those shorter intermediate routes that Baker Mayfield is more comfortable with in at Oklahoma.

Bradley:
I could see them having success on offense. I really could, because the Vikings had relative success last year. And I think this this offense in Cleveland has the potential to be better than that offense.

Bradley:
So, I mean, I’m higher higher on the Browns.

Bradley:
I want to be high on the Browns, but I just I can’t. Stefanski, first year still some questions about whether how good Baker really is. I’m not putting my money behind the Browns. I’m just not.

Russell:
That’s that’s the thing, it’s like we want the Browns to be we want the Browns to be good, so bad, but there’s so many questions. I mean, I watched a ton of the games last year because, I mean, admittedly, they they made some progress. They didn’t live up to the hype, but they weren’t the bad 0-16 Browns that we’re used to seeing. So Baker did turn it around somewhat himself. He flashed a lot of really strong signs last year. And then other times he would just make throws just like.

Bradley:
Their head scratchers, what are you doing Baker there’s a lot of inconsistencies, in his defense, he looked he looked scared back there half the time with the offensive line falling apart, just running around. He I mean, he looked frustrated and he looks scared. I would be frustrated and scared, too, if I had two hundred and eighty pound dudes running four or five, four, six is coming at my head. Yeah, he’s still learning. And it didn’t help to to be thrown under Freddie Kitchens and a poor offensive line last year for Baker.

Russell:
And you got to be really careful about spooking a young guy like that. I mean, that can. David Carr, that that I don’t want to say end careers, but in some cases, I mean, it could seriously dictate who you are as a professional football player or a professional quarterback. If you start to get those happy feet and start to get out of the pocket and not not feel comfortable in that pocket, sometimes that stuff never leaves you. And you become a run first quarterback when you shouldn’t be around first quarterback. So, I mean, Kevin Stefanski has a tall task. He needs to reestablish trust in that organization. He needs to give Baker Mayfield that confidence, hopefully with the, you know, coming with the model from the Vikings being a very run heavy team. You mentioned that they have a ton of weapons in that backfield. Use them, use them often, alleviate some of that pressure from Baker and open things up for him. And the Browns could be good. I wouldn’t be shocked if they’re nine and seven this year.

Bradley:
No, not at all. Not at all.

Russell:
Yeah. I mean, there’s there’s real potential for them to be nine and seven, but I see them being a, you know, a seven and nine team before I. I see them being a nine and seventeen. Yeah.

Bradley:
All righty, Russ. Well, no play for either one of us here on the Browns.

Bradley:
And we will head off to an area where there may be a bet to be had.

Steelers

Bradley:
The Pittsburgh Steelers. Coming off an eight and eight, 2019 finish, Big Ben goes out week two, how they get to eight and eight with Duck Hodges and Mason Rudolph. Who knows? Wait, We do know the defense, the defense was phenomenal, man, the defense was phenomenal. Hey.

Bradley:
Give Tomlin coach of the year last year for getting that team to eight and eight and keeping that defense motivated and playing hard despite just a despite a putrid offense that was attempting to put up points for them but failed miserably. The majority of the time, the Steelers were I didn’t really I didn’t watch a ton of Steelers football because last year, because it just wasn’t appealing to me. They were a dead under team, Duck Hodges. No, I didn’t. I want I’d be on the red zone and like, they’d flash up every once in a while and it’d be, oh, duck through a, you know, 50 yard pass. Congrats. And scores three, nothing in the second quarter. Still, it’s like I know that wasn’t appealing to me, but yeah. Russ, I think you have a strong opinion about the Steelers here. Where do you see the Steelers going in 2020?

Russell:
Nine and a half wins, nine and a half win total. It’s too low. Yeah, yeah, it’s too low to go 8-8 last. It’s too low. You go 8-8 with Duck Hodges and Mason Rudolph, who gets his face ripped off by Myles Garrett. I mean, it was embarrassing to watch that that quarterback play. Is it a trap, though, Russ.

Bradley:
Is it a trap? Is it too low, though? Is Big Ben going to make it back? I think it’s a.

Russell:
There’s a lot of questions with this injury, we haven’t seen it before, we we don’t see it often in football. Obviously baseball, Tommy John issues are are prevalent.

Russell:
It feels like it’s happening every other day with a quarterback having this type of injury. How does it affect them? How does it affect a 38 year old quarterback, that’s the biggest. Question for for the Steelers is, how is Big Ben going to bounce back? I have confidence in him. He’s a proven winner. I think he’s I think he’s got a lot to prove this year. There was a lot of dialogue that has happened over the last couple of years about always Big Ben going to retire. You know, what’s the status of the Steelers, the whole issue with AB and Lev Bell. I think Ben has something to prove this year. He’s had a lot of time away. Obviously, the injury last year, he’s going to be motivated. You’re going to see a motivated Big Ben and a motivated, a motivated Big Ben is scary. Um, especially you look at their schedule across the board. We mentioned it with the Ravens.

Russell:
It’s a week schedule seven, seventh easiest in the NFL this year.

Russell:
Exactly. I’m looking at I’ve circled a couple of wins.

Russell:
I mean, granted, it’s the NFL, anything can happen, but you’re playing the Giants, you’re playing Denver not at mile high, you’re playing Philly who they’re so inconsistent. Cleveland twice, Cincy twice. Jacksonville, the Washington football team. I mean, there’s there’s a lot of, I think, quick wins. And then I look at the rest of the schedule, maybe maybe teams that I haven’t circled because I think. It is a tighter matchup. I mean, Houston, who are the Texans this year with no DHop Tennessee? Yeah, they got hot at the right time last year. Are they going to be able to continue it? They play Baltimore twice. Those are going to be tough games. Dallas, they’re typically a strong team. But Dallas, Dallas is Dallas. They’re an eight and eight squad typically. So I think there’s a lot of opportunity in the Steeler schedule. Oh, yeah. And nine and a half is just too high. I’m sorry. Too low. With that much opportunity and a surefire Hall of Fame quarterback coming back, you got James Connor, Juju Smith, Schuster on the last last year of their rookie deals. It’s their prove it years. I think you’re going to see big things out of them this year. James Connors, also healthy. James Washington. The kid’s a stud. Big Ben’s going to come in, balance him out a little bit. I think you see James Washington have a breakout year this year. He’s going to be the number two, kid can fly. Don’t underestimate that guy. They have they have enough weapons on that offense to be really good.

Bradley:
Hey, while you’re drooling over the Steelers, I want to I want to cut you off real quick. I’m sorry, Russ, but I’m going get this one in here. It’s not a bet, but I would have bet it if I would have had access to it.

Bradley:
You can go back, check my Twitter. April, April 30th, 2020. Hey, hey, Brad. Yeah, what’s your Twitter? Twitter and plug in @bradleyporras.

Bradley:
Bradley Porras. You can follow me there on Twitter @bradleyporras as well as you can follow ol Russ Vaughan @Russe11Vaughan that’s r u s s e 11 Vaughn on Russ Vaughan Twitter. I like Chase Claypool to be.

Bradley:
A dominant force for the Steelers this year, he was rookie of the year at Circa plus 9000. I for sure if I were there in Vegas, I would have put one hundred bucks on Chase Claypool to win rookie of the year at plus nine thousand to win nine-thousand, dudes a beast, dude was a beast at Notre Dame.

Bradley:
He’s like six three six four, 240, 6’4 240. He’s he’s a receiver, fast.

Bradley:
I mean I know you like James Washington, Deontae Johnson. I mean he flashed last year, Juju. I don’t know, I’m not sold on Juju. I’ve never liked him in fantasy really. I think he’s super overhyped. I think Claypool is the type of guy that Big Ben likes to throw to anyway. I know granted he had AB, but like he likes the big tight end, big targets type guy. I think Big Ben targets Claypool.

Bradley:
I think Claypool has a great year for sure. I like Claypool a lot. I, I hated watching Notre Dame and having to bet against their Notre Dame. I thought, oh, Notre Dame was overhyped last year and I hated watching the game and watching Ian Book just hit Claypool down the field all day. I like him. I would have bet him for sure. I don’t know what the numbers, I looked last night. I couldn’t find it anywhere, anywhere where I could could do anything about it to bet Claypool. But back there in April, I would have loved to bet Claypool plus nine thousand won Rookie of the Year.

Russell:
I mean, not only do I mean, for the I think that’s a strong, strong point, I think.

Russell:
Ok, not only are the Steelers going to hit the over on their win total, you can make a very strong case for them to win the AFC North Division. I have both the Steelers and Ravens going eleven and five when you compare the Steelers. So obviously we have a tiebreaker there. When you compare the Steelers schedule versus the Ravens schedule, two of the teams that I circled on the Ravens schedule that are not on the Steelers schedule, Kansas City. I don’t want to face Patty Mahomes. I don’t want to see that. That’s early in the year or too for the Ravens, I think third game of the year. I don’t want to see it. And then at New England, I don’t care if you don’t have Tom anymore, whether it’s Cam or Stidham or whoever the House is, is going to play it. New England. It’s never easy playing there. I don’t care who you are. Those are two teams the Steelers aren’t facing this year. Instead, they are facing Buffalo, the Steelers and.

Russell:
Who’s the other one, Dallas? Maybe, maybe we should go to the AFC East next, because I’m not high on your Patriots. I don’t see that you’re hurting, kills me.

Russell:
But no, I think Stealer’s oh, man, I love it, there is a bit to be had here for me. I’m going over nine and a half and I’m feeling really, really confident doing so.

Bradley:
So you’re going over nine and a half. Russ the first official bet on the presnappicks podcast’s, Russell Vaughan over nine and a half. Do you find it appealing to shop around and find them to win the division plus 350, plus 375, plus 400 somewhere in that ballpark? Are you going. Are you going to go out and get some of them to win the division as well? I mean, it would make sense if you if you’re saying eleven and five from the Steelers and eleven and five from the Ravens, it just throw a blanket over the logos, the names, the teams, everything you say you have two eleven and five teams and you can get one at plus three fifty, three sixty. You can get one at minus two hundred. You’ve got to go with the plus three fifty three sixty. It’s just it makes it you’re obligated to do it if that’s really how you feel about the teams.

Russell:
And I’m doing it, I’m doing it, asking too much value there.

Russell:
I mean, don’t sleep. I feel like everyone is sleeping on the Steelers are sleeping on Big Ben if they’re getting so. Oh, I mean, the Ravens are that that new team. That’s slick team. That team. Mm hmm. The Steelers have run that division for I mean, it’s always been the Steelers and Ravens, but the Steelers are a quality team. They have a legitimate shot. They have a lot of pieces in play. They’re going to be a very balanced team, just like the Ravens. I like the Steelers schedule a little bit more than I like the Ravens. I’m hitting the Steelers over and I’m hitting the Steelers to win the division.

Bradley:
Lock it in, lock it in, winners only lock a lock. Sounds a lock, I may I may get on with you.

Bradley:
I’ll have to look into it more. I just I just I’m too high on all of these teams in the division to like like to win a bet one over, because if I think they’re all going to be good, then there’s no way I should really be betting one of them over because. They all have to play each other, so I don’t I just I’m not I’m not feeling better in the over, but I can’t go out of the first podcast without giving a pick.

Bradley:
Russ, I’ve got to give a pick, and I really, really like this one. So I’m going to give it out to to everyone of the people I’m going because we’re going to it’s this is within the division. I’m just going to go random on you here. We’re going to go Week 1 for me.

Bradley:
Week 1, Browns, Ravens over under forty eight and a half. I’m going under on this total for a few. I mean several reasons.

Bradley:
One, covid-19, no preseason games, lack of preparation for the offenses, the timings and getting the different plays down. How vanilla may it be. I’m thinking offenses could be rusty and we may have some timing issues. COVID Rust the Browns.

Bradley:
They.

Bradley:
Are getting Kevin Stefanski and head coach coming from the Vikings, who last year it was the majority of Kirk Cousins handing off to Dalvin Cook all day. I don’t see how Stefanski just flips gears and is going to just be this pass, pass, pass type person. He’s going straight from running, running, running it to. I’m thinking more of a run run run because the the Browns are actually ninth in rush efficiency last year and seventh and explosive run. Whenever the Browns did beat the Ravens last year, they were running it all over them. The last time we saw the Ravens, they were getting beat by the Titans and King Henry getting run all over.

Bradley:
They the Browns upgraded their offensive line with Willis in Conklin, I think the recipe in the game plan for the Browns is running early and often to keep the ball from Lamar and run it up the Ravens throat and through the weakness of their defense. And then on the opposite side of the ball with Lamar.

Bradley:
I mean, that’s that is who they are. They run, I mean, yes, Lamar can throw deep down field off the play action pass but the majority of their game plan is to run. They’re going to run. They’re going to run with Lamar. They’re going to run with Ingram. Ingram they’re an explosive running offense. They’re an explosive running team.

Bradley:
Their weakness was stopping the run on defense last year. I just see this as two game plans of running the ball at each other. So I will be on the under for the Browns and Ravens week one under forty, forty eight and a half.

Russell:
So your justification makes a ton of sense. You run the ball, you shorten the game clock keeps you running, no incomplete passes, stoppages of time. It makes a ton of sense. I just get really worried. About the Ravens, so I think when I I think when I hear you say I’m going under forty eight and a half, what I hear is the Browns just need to kind of stabilize. The Ravens, the Ravens are going to get their points, but, you know, keep them at the mid 20s, you know, they’re going to score three touchdowns or so. Don’t just don’t let it get out of hand. I mean, because I remember so many times last year I look at halftime. Yeah, yeah. 30 plus points like, OK, this game’s over before it even started. You’re right. That’s the thing that gives me pause. It’s like the Ravens have the ability to score so quick you can’t let them get on you. Yeah, you can’t. So I think that bet hinges on Cleveland’s ability to shorten the game through their run. They got to move the sticks. They got to get those ten yards, keep Baltimore off the field. And if I think that’s the right way to go, I think that’s the right way to go. If you’re Kevin Stefanski and the Browns is you run the ball, that’s where your strength is anyways. You have a one two punch, no pun intended.

Bradley:
One two kick.

Russell:
Yeah, you can move the ball with those guys and, you know, do short little dink and dunks with Baker to make that, you know, keep the ball, keep the ball moving. If that’s the case. I love your under. Yeah. I just I pause a little bit. I may be a little bit more apprehensive than you are on the under forty eight and a half. But I still I, I think it’s a strong bet. I just don’t know if I’m going to tail you on it.

Bradley:
Yeah.

Bradley:
Yeah you’re exactly right. The Ravens hopped out in front of people and beat them before the third quarter even started. And I think knowing that in the Browns, knowing the last thing they want to do is try and get flashy and go three and outs passing the ball only to give it to Lamar, to let them wear their defense down and score touchdowns and just be, you know, the time the amount of time the Browns defense is on the field is, you know, the majority of the time and they’re losing, you know, twenty one nothing at halftime. So, I mean, I’m going under these just seems like two running teams. The clock should be running. That’s that should be the game plan. So that’s my bet.

Russell:
And I mean, you think about it from the drought. You think about it from the Browns perspective, too. I mean, this is this is Week 1. So you’re not it’s not Week 2. It’s not week three. So it’s it’s not that kind of condensed time period where you only have a week to plan for this team. Yeah. You have basically a month if you want if you want to start planning for game one in the Ravens, you have a lot of time to start putting your game plan together for that game. It’s like the Super Bowl. You have to you know, you have an extra week, two weeks to prepare for for this team. So I think that benefits you about a little bit, too, is that it’s the first game of the year you got more time than usual to prepare. Don’t overthink it, Kevin Stefanski. Just do what you can to stop the run and and make Lamar throw the deep ball to beat you.

Bradley:
Already, guys, well, that’ll wrap it up for us on the first ever PreSnapPicks podcast. We’ve got a podcast bet for me on the under and Week 1, Browns/Ravens.

Bradley:
And we’ve got Russ going over. You got the wrong one. We got the we got Russ going over on the Steelers win total and we got Russ taking the Steelers to win the division.

Bradley:
Thanks for following along, guys. Please subscribe download the podcast, share it with your friends and family. Hopefully you enjoyed it again. This is unedited, unscripted. You know, we’re having fun. Hopefully we can help you all win some money whenever we win some money. So good luck, guys. We will be back with another preview. Most likely, we’re going to go to the AFC East next Russ. We’re going to take down your Patriots, Peace.

Russell:
No, no, don’t say that.