The preseason comes to an end this week. In this game, old school foes the Browns and the Bears match up in Cleveland for one last go-round before the regular season. How do football odds makers cap a game in which none of the starters will probably see action?

NFL odds makers favor the Browns in this game by -3 ½ with a total of 37 points. Like most teams with Super Bowl aspirations this year, the Bears probably won’t be trying too hard for a win in this one. The Bears didn’t even play most of their starters in Week 1 of the preseason, and I expect them to do the same here in Week 4. 

The Browns are still trying to get rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden acclimated to the offense while the Bears are just looking forward to getting their hands on the Colts in Week 1 of the regular season. So, should we focus on the trends, or go with our gut in this one? 

Hibernating Bears 

Brandon WeedenBears head coach Lovie Smith has never put much stock in the preseason. Since hiring Smith in 2004, the Bears are 18-18 SU in the preseason, and since 2008, they are 8-11 SU in the preseason. If it didn’t show by their preseason Week 1 showing, the Bears want to play real football. 

Fearing injury to key players like Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lovie played this one just like he did a few weeks ago. The Bears are have higher hopes this season than at any time since their Super Bowl appearance back in 2006. Plus, Lovie is kind of on the hot seat. 

New general manager Phil Emery was told that he had permission to fire Lovie after this season if things went south, so Smith needs a good season more than anyone. Management would not be pleased if he got one of his star players hurt in an exhibition game a week before the start of the regular season. I doubt the starters play at all. 

Browns looking for success 

It must be tough to be a Browns fan. I’m sure lots of alcohol at the games helps, but the Browns haven't been relevant in my lifetime, not to mention in that of football fans older than me. It’s yet another new era in Cleveland, but the Browns have high hopes for their two main rookies, Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson. 

Richardson is still recovering from an August 9 new scope and won’t play. Weeden, on the other hand, will probably see some time on the field at the very least. Weeden had every opportunity to show his skills last week against the Eagles, but he couldn’t get it going. He completed only 9-20 passes for 117 yards. He was also sacked three times for 25 yards, something that all rookies have to get over quickly if they’re going to start. 

The Sharp Pick 

Even though home teams have been awful this preseason, I have to side with the Browns in this one. There are too many reasons for the Bears to lay down in this game while the Browns need this game to get in as much sync for the regular season as possible. 

My Pick: Browns -3 ½