NY Jets (1-1) at Cleveland (0-1-1)
When: Thursday, September 20th 2018
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium,
Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NFL Network
Opening Odds: Cleveland -3.5/40
The Cleveland Browns have won a single game in the last two seasons, and have started out this year with a tie and a loss, but yet are favored this Thursday night when they host the New York Jets to kick off Week 3 of the NFL schedule. The Jets were 5-11 in 2017 and have won more than five games just once since 2013, and will be starting their No. 1 draft pick once again, while the Browns have decided to keep theirs on the bench for now. Cleveland surprised many around the NFL by passing on quarterback Sam Darnold with the top overall pick in the 2018 draft and the Jets grabbed him up at No. 3 when the Giants also passed at No. 2. The guy Cleveland took, QB Baker Mayfield, hasn’t played yet this year and the team ideally doesn’t want him to at all in 2018. New York went into Week 2 on short rest after an impressive Monday night victory over Detroit to start the season, but were back to their bumbling ways in a 20-12 home loss to the Miami Dolphins last Sunday. Darnold threw for 334 yards and a score vs. Miami but also was picked off twice and fumbled once, and mismanaged the clock at the end of the first half to cost his team at least a field-goal try. Cleveland could easily be 2-0 if they had a decent kicker, as Zane Gonzalez had a potential winning field goal blocked in overtime of the Browns’ Week 1 tie vs. Pittsburgh and missed two extra points and two field goals in Sunday’s 21-18 loss in New Orleans. Cleveland finally cut ties with troubled receiver Josh Gordon, who had a TD catch in Week 1 but was inactive vs. the Saints because of a hamstring injury reportedly suffered at a promotional shoot. The Jets are on a five-game winning streak vs. the Browns, and it’s the fourth straight year they will play. The past two were decided by only three points each and the favorite has covered the past eight in this series.
The Jets don’t have a real big playmaker for Darnold to throw to, but he’s developing chemistry with Quincy Enunwa, who has 13 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown through two games. Former Browns wideout/quarterback Terrelle Pryor had four catches for 84 yards versus Detroit, matching the total number of receptions of Robby Anderson over the first two games. Running back Isaiah Crowell, who spent four seasons in Cleveland, ran for 102 yards and two scores in Week 1, but was held to just 35 yards on Sunday. The Jets defense has been solid thus far, rankings eighth against the pass and 11th versus the run.
Tyrod Taylor nearly ended Cleveland’s 19-game winless streak by connecting with rookie Antonio Callaway on a game-tying 47-yard touchdown with 1:16 remaining the fourth quarter before the Saints came down for the winning field goal. Wideout Jarvis Landry has been one of Taylor’s go-to guys with at least five receptions in 19 consecutive games. Landry has recorded 90-plus yards and a touchdown in three of his last five meetings with the Jets. Running back Carlos Hyde, who has found the end zone in four straight games dating to last season, rushed for career-high 193 yards in his only career meeting versus the Jets.
Boy, it is really hard to take a team as a favorite that has one win in the last two years-plus. Yes, Cleveland seems to be better this year, but they’re still finding ways to lose games. The Jets have something with Darnold under center and their defense is pretty solid. I have to take the points in this one.
Pick: Jets +3
- Jets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- Jets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
- Jets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Jets are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Jets are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
- Jets are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 vs. AFC.
- Jets are 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games on grass.
- Jets are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Browns are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games.
- Browns are 17-36-1 ATS in their last 54 games following a straight up loss.
- Browns are 16-34-1 ATS in their last 51 games overall.
- Browns are 9-21-1 ATS in their last 31 vs. AFC.
- Browns are 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a ATS win.
- Browns are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 home games.
- Browns are 7-20-1 ATS in their last 28 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Under is 5-0 in Jets last 5 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Under is 4-0 in Jets last 4 vs. AFC.
- Over is 4-0 in Jets last 4 games following a ATS loss.
- Over is 5-0 in Jets last 5 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Over is 4-1 in Jets last 5 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
- Under is 4-1 in Jets last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
- Over is 7-2 in Jets last 9 games following a straight up loss.
- Over is 16-5 in Jets last 21 games in Week 3.
- Over is 5-0 in Browns last 5 games in Week 3.
- Under is 6-1 in Browns last 7 Thursday games.
- Under is 11-3 in Browns last 14 home games.
- Under is 13-4 in Browns last 17 games on grass.
- Over is 10-4 in Browns last 14 games in September.
- Jets are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Favorite is 8-0 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
- Jets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Cleveland.