On Thursday night, the New York Jets travel to Ohio to take on the hungry Cleveland Browns who are still looking for their first win of the season. The Browns have come close in the last two weeks while the Jets have regressed since their impressive Week 1 victory. Who will come away with this hard fought AFC battle? Kickoff inside FirstEnergy Stadium will be at 8:20 PM ET.
|Betting Data History||New York Jets||Cleveland Browns|
|2018 ATS Home||0-1||1-0|
|2018 ATS Away||1-0||1-0|
|2018 O/U Home||0-1||1-0|
|2018 O/U Away||1-0||0-1|
Since 1970, these two teams have played each other 25 times, with the Browns holding the slight advantage at 13-12. Since the Browns returned to the league in the late 90’s, the Jets are 6-3 including winning 5 straight over Cleveland. These two teams have played against each other the last 3 years and the Jets have won all 3 games. Furthermore, New York has won the last 3 games in Cleveland including last year’s contest by a score of 17-14.
The Jets (1-1) come into this matchup reeling from a 20-12 loss at home against the Miami Dolphins. It was a step back from their Week 1 blowout victory over the Detroit Lions. The Jets come into Cleveland with the hopes of bouncing back and looking for their second win of the season.
The Browns (0-1-1) have played two tough contests and should’ve won both games. Unfortunately, this team has been cursed by self-inflicted mistakes that have cost them two victories. Last weekend, Cleveland lost 21-18 over the Saints, but could’ve beaten them if their kicker didn’t miss 2 field goals. The Browns look to get their first win of the season on Thursday against a beatable Jets team.
The spread opened with Cleveland favored by 3.5 points. It has since come down to -3 points. The Over/Under opened at 40 points, but has come down to 39 total points.
For all of the success that the Jets had in Week 1, they looked abysmal on offense in Week 2. Despite the score only being 20-12, the Dolphins were up 20-0 at half time. Additionally, they were up 20-6 heading into the 4th quarter. The Jets committed 3 turnovers and were unable to generate any ground game. They finished with just 42 yards on 19 attempts. They also had 7 penalties and seemed to beat themselves in every aspect of the game.
Rookie QB Sam Darnold went 25 of 41 for 334 yards, 1 TD and 2 Interceptions. The Jets offense seemed very inept the entire first half before showing some life in the second half. Unfortunately, they have a quick turnaround this week as they head out to Cleveland for a tough game against a solid defense.
The Browns defensive numbers might seem high at first glance, but keep in mind that they did play against 2 of the NFL’s top offenses in Pittsburgh and New Orleans. They held both teams to just 21 points each and had a chance to win both games. Unfortunately, missed kicks cost Cleveland both contests. And, the team let go of their kicker this week due to those misses.
Offensively, Cleveland has put up 19.5 ppg and 356.6 total ypg. They have hung in there with two high powered offenses by displaying a balanced attack: 221.5 passing ypg and 135 rushing ypg. The Jets are only giving up 87 ypg on the ground, but they haven’t played an offense as rugged with the rock as the Browns are. Carlos Hyde could cause the Jets some issues on Thursday. Tyrod Taylor could also cause some troubles with his legs if the Jets don’t keep him contained.
Taylor has been average through the air with just 443 passing yards, 2 passing TDs and 2 interceptions. He will be going up against a solid Jets secondary, which means the Browns will need a strong performance from him and the running game.
The Jets defense is holding opponents to 18.5 ppg and 321 total yards per game. So, I don’t expect Cleveland to have a large offensive output. If anything, this should be a fun defensive battle to watch. The Browns have a +6 turnover differential, which has greatly helped them this season.
With the eye test, Cleveland has looked like the more balanced team. Unfortunately, the Jets have owned them in the recent years. In head-to-head competition, the Jets are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games at Cleveland, and have won 5 straight games against the Browns.
I’m taking the Jets and the spread in this game, but I do think Cleveland has a chance to win this game. I just don’t think they will win by 4 or more. The Browns are 1-4 ATS and 0-5 SU when the line is +3 to -3, 9-21-1 ATS in their last 31 vs the AFC, and 7-19 ATS in their last 26 home games.
The Jets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a SU loss, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday night games, and 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 against the AFC.
I believe Tyrod Taylor, who is 4-2 against the Jets, will keep this game close and I’m picking Cleveland to win via a late FG with their new kicker. However, I’m taking the Jets to cover the spread.
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