The Browns will officially kick off the NFL season by playing the Hall of Fame Game against the New York Jets on Thursday, but the arrival of football doesn't overshadow the Guardians' fight for the top spot in the AL Central either.
The sports world is really starting to pick up, and that means we're also nearing one of the best times of year for sports betting, too.
With that in mind, here are the Factory of Sadness editors' top Cleveland sports betting picks for Monday.
Best Cleveland Bets: July 31, 2023
Jason Schandl: Guardians vs. Astros OVER
Guardians games have seen the total hit the under at one of the highest rates in the MLB this season, and now we’re set to start an exciting new pitching addition in Noah Syndergaard against a guy with a 2.87 ERA in in J.P. France. So why am I on the over here?
Well first of all, we don’t know or sure what kind of Syndergaard we’re getting, but there’s a decent chance it’s not a very good one. He has more starts this season with 5-plus earned runs allowed (five) than he does with fewer than 3 allowed (four). His velocity has fallen off a cliff, and he’s generating swinging strikes on a career-low 8.6% of his pitches.
On the other side, France hasn’t been nearly as good as his stellar ERA may suggest either. Whatever advanced stat you want to look at, none of the numbers designed to be predictive of future ERA point to him being able to keep up that sub-3.00 mark. His xERA is 4.34, his FIP is 4.33, his xFIP is 4.61 and his SIERA is 4.84.
So sure, the Guardians tend to hit the under, but Houston is basically 50-50 on the over and under this season, and tonight’s pitching matchup should make you more than willing to go against our trend for the season.
Isaiah De Los Santos: Nick Chubb TDs vs. Bengals
As the Browns prepare to play an actual (preseason) game this week, sportsbooks are already looking ahead to the regular season. DraftKings has posted an interesting market that pertains to players known for dominating certain opponents. One of the options features Nick Chubb’ stats versus the Bengals this season, and there’s certainly money to be made here. All the other info you might want to know about DraftKings can be found in the comprehensive review the Factory of Sadness team has written up here.
The spectacular running back has had his way with Cincinnati throughout his career, racking up seven rushing touchdowns across nine previous meetings. He’s been just as productive moving the chains as well, averaging a healthy 88.6 rushing yards per contest on 17.4 carries.
During his breakout 2022 campaign, Chubb took the opportunity to pad his stats against the Bengals’ poor run defense in Week 8. He lit up Zac Taylor’s squad on Monday Night Football, recording 101 yards on 23 attempts and 2 rushing TDs in a 32-13 blowout.
Though the second matchup didn’t go as well (34 rushing yards, 0 TDs in Week 14), the likelihood of Chubb having one good game against the Bengals seems pretty good considering his past success. The departure of Kareem Hunt this offseason sets Chubb up to handle even more of the rushing load as well, which should give the latter additional scoring opportunities.
Another thing going for Chubb’s scoring chances against Cincinnati is the fact he gets to face them in Week 1. The first game of the year is the perfect environment to strike as teams implement new concepts and figure out how their personnel works together, which leads to mishaps.
Given all of this, I love sprinkling money on Chubb to record two TDs against the Bengals this season at +350, or one TD at +175.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER