Thursday Night Football: Jets at Browns Expert Pick
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: JETS AT BROWNS EXPERT PICK – With only two weeks left in the season, many teams have already moved into playoff mode.
The Browns are one of those teams, but they have a nice cushion as the top wild card. The Jets have been eliminated and have moved on to next season.
Woody Johnson even confirmed as much by giving Robert Saleh a public vote of confidence and another chance in 2024. It should be a good matchup as Joe Flacco takes on his former team.
New York Jets
(6-9 SU, 5-9-1 ATS)
(10-5 SU, 10-5-0 ATS)
When: Thursday, 8:15 pm EST, December 28, 2023
Where: Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH
TV: Amazon Prime
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, correct as of December 27th, 2023.
New York Jets
The Jets beat the Commanders last week but nearly blew a 20-point lead. Zach Wilson has not cleared the concussion protocol, and Trevor Siemian will start again in week 17.
Kicker Greg Zuerlein is questionable due to a quadriceps injury, which could be a problem if he cannot play. Tackle Duane Brown is questionable due to a back injury and has not participated in practice this week.
The Browns beat the Texans 36 to 22. Kicker Dustin Hopkins injured his hamstring and will not be available on Thursday.
Punter Corey Bojorquez has not participated in practice this week due to an injury to his left quadriceps.
New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Head-To-Head
The Jets have only been able to score against bad defenses. The Browns are one of the best defensive units in the league. They allow the fewest total yards (281) and passing yards (160.1) per game.
The Jets will have a tough time moving the ball against this team. Third downs will be vital for the Jets, but they rank last in third down conversion rate (25.5%).
The Browns allow teams to convert 28.7% of third downs, which is the best in the league. The Jets struggle to move the ball on the ground, evidenced by their 90.3 rushing yards per game.
Third and long situations are difficult to overcome with subpar quarterback play. The Browns will get off the field and give Joe Flacco opportunities to score points.
The Browns offense has looked much better with Flacco at the helm. He has played four games and averages 326.8 passing yards per game.
He might not reach that number in this matchup, though. The Jets allow the second-fewest passing yards (168.6) per game. The Browns should rely on their ground game this week, which has been the Jets’ weakness. They allow 126.1 rushing yards per game.
It would not be surprising if both teams lean on their ground games, but the Jets have the lesser matchups and a worse rushing attack.
Special teams will almost certainly factor into this game, with both teams dealing with injuries at kicker. The turnover differential is also worth considering since the Browns have a -7 and the Jets a -8. Both teams are careless with the ball on offense but force many turnovers.
The Browns’ defensive unit has the second most takeaways this season, but the offense needs to protect the football, or the Jets will make them pay.
The total is 34.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, and I would take the over. Both teams are prone to turning the ball over and could give each other good opportunities to score points.
The Browns are 7.5-point favorites at home. The Browns -7.5 is the right side to bet, but it could get sloppy with a new kicker. Home-field advantage should help overcome any shortcomings from special teams.
Kareem Hunt has been a touchdown-magnet this season. Hunt has eight TDs this season, all coming in the red zone. He has 11 touches inside the five, with seven going for a score.
He is +190 to score on DraftKings and as low as +115 on other sportsbooks. Take this value now before it goes away closer to game time.
OVER 34.5 Total Points
Kareem Hunt to Score (+190)