Factory of Sadness' Best Cleveland Betting Picks for 7/27 (Big Day for Defense)

Whether it's the Browns or the Guardians, the best Cleveland sports betting picks on Thursday all involve defense.

A Myles Garrett Defensive Player of the Year bet highlights the list of best Cleveland sports betting picks for Thursday.
A Myles Garrett Defensive Player of the Year bet highlights the list of best Cleveland sports betting picks for Thursday. / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Guardians are one of the few MLB teams in action on Thursday while the Browns are back on the practice field for training camp. It's a good day to be a Cleveland sports fan.

And of course, what better way to make it an even better sports day than by getting in some betting action, too?

Here are our editors' best betting picks for Cleveland sports on Thursday.

Best Cleveland Bets: July 27, 2023

Tyler Maher: Guardians-White Sox UNDER

After routng the Royals 8-3 on Wednesday, the Guardians have another divisional game on Thursday against the White Sox. And with the Twins off today, we have a chance to gain some more ground in the AL Central and cut their lead to 1.5 games.

Cleveland will try to climb above .500 today in Chicago behind Tanner Bibee. The 24-year-old rookie has been excellent this season, going 6-2 with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 83 innings. He’s only getting better, too, with a 1.21 ERA and a 10.3 K/9 over his last five outings.

He’ll face a spiraling Chicago team that’s officially waving the white flag after trading Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. The White Sox are 21 games below .500 and are already looking ahead to 2024.

That said, Chicago does have its ace Dylan Cease on the mound today. Last year’s AL Cy Young runner-up has taken a step back this year but is still dangerous with a 3.63 FIP and a 10.9 K/9. He’s also allowed just a pair of earned runs over his last two starts.

This game could go either way, so my money’s on the Under. Both teams are averaging exactly 4.20 runs per game this year, which is tied for seventh-fewest in MLB. Given the lacklustre offenses and strong pitching matchup, I’m expecting a low-scoring affair on the South Side.

Jason Schandl: Myles Garrett to Win Defensive Player of the Year

If you’ve read anything I’ve written about the Browns for this upcoming season, you know why I’m so bullish on them. It centers around this defense, and especially around how this defense is going to let Myles Garrett shine.

Garrett was the NFL’s most double-teamed pass rusher in 2022 (thanks, Jadeveon Clowney). The secondary behind him also had some holes, so they weren’t forcing opposing passers to hold the ball and sit in the pocket. He still racked up 16 sacks, 18 TFLs and 26 QB hits, finishing fifth in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. 

Now the defense around him has completely transformed. Za’Darius Smith (just named #84 on the NFL’s top 100 players list) comes in having notched double-digit sacks in each of his last three healthy seasons with a combined 84 quarterback hits in that stretch. Ogbo Okoronkwo was added, too, and he showed some flashes with 5.0 sacks and 11 QB hits in limited action last year.

There will also be a source of pressure in the middle that Garrett has never been able to benefit from in the past, as the addition of Dalvin Tomlinson should help collapse pockets from the inside as well. He’s recorded 9+ QB hits in three of the last four seasons.

Now add Juan Thornhill as another solid piece in the secondary, and suddenly this defense is looking mighty tough.

Offenses won’t be able to key in on Garrett the way they used to, and he’s going to make them pay for that. A 20-sack, DPOY season could be in the cards here.

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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