Monday Night Football Predictions: Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets
Good luck ESPN in showing another Monday night game this season better than the Week 1 barnburner between the Texans and Saints from New Orleans. That is what is great about football sometimes: You find yourself screaming in front of a TV in a game that doesn't even involve teams you personally root for. The Saints escaped 30-28 in what might well have been a Super Bowl preview if Houston can figure out a way to protect Deshaun Watson. We took the Texans on an alternate line of +7.5 so won there but lost on "under" the total 53. Thought we had that in the bag when New Orleans took a 27-21 lead on a Wil Lutz field goal with 50 seconds left, but then Watson and Drew Brees worked their magic. Ah well.
This week, it's Cleveland at the New York Jets, and one story line that the MNF crew - sorry, but while Booger McFarland is a huge upgrade on Jason Witten, McFarland still isn't very good; every play or player is GREAT! - will be Odell Beckham Jr.'s return to the New York City area. This would be better if the Browns were playing at the Giants, but I'm sure Beckham still will be amped up to play at MetLife Stadium and in front of the Big Apple denizens. Be curious how he's received because even though he forced his way out of New York, Jets fans hate Giants fans for the most part so they might actually cheer Beckham.
It's the 50th anniversary of Monday Night Football, and the first-ever game was Cleveland beating the Jets 31-21 at Municipal Stadium on Sept. 21, 1970. Now that was a broadcast booth with Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell and Don Meredith! This week's game will be the 781st in Monday Night Football history.
Since 2007, only around 10 percent of teams to start 0-2 make the playoffs, so the loser here is in big trouble. Not many expected the Jets to be a playoff team in 2019, but many thought the Browns would be.
Browns at Jets Betting Story Lines
Both clubs had horrible Week 1 losses as home favorites, but they were horrible for very different reasons.
Cleveland was utterly dominated by the Tennessee Titans, who are decent at best, 43-13. Baker Mayfield looked like an early-season rookie instead of a potential MVP candidate with three interceptions in the final 15 minutes. To be fair, he was sacked five times and under pressure all day (suffered a bruised hand). While Cleveland does look loaded nearly everywhere, the offensive line appeared to be one glaring issue, and that was 100 percent true in Week 1. Don't be surprised if the Browns try and trade for Redskins holdout Pro Bowl offensive tackle Trent Williams if things go south again Monday. Current starting left tackle Greg Robinson was ejected from Week 1 for kicking Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro but apparently will avoid a suspension.
Beckham had a solid debut with seven catches for 71 yards but didn't score. He's another diva receiver in the news this week because for some reason he chose to wear a $190,000 watch in the game. NFL spokesman Michael Signora said that while the league has no rules prohibiting jewelry, it does have a policy "prohibiting hard objects." OBJ says he plans to wear it again this week. WHY!?!?
The Jets forced four Buffalo turnovers in Week 1, scored twice on defense (one a safety) and led the Bills 16-0 late in the third quarter … yet lost 17-16. That's just not acceptable. One clear scapegoat was kicker Kaare Vedvik, who was picked up off waivers about a week before the season. He missed a PAT and 45-yard field goal and is now out of work again. The Jets tried out kickers on Tuesday and signed Sam Ficken even though he is 3-for-6 in his NFL career on field-goal attempts (with Rams).
Sam Darnold, a second-year QB like Mayfield, was just OK in completing 28-for-41 for 175 yards with a touchdown vs. the Bills. Le'Veon Bell made his Jets debut and had 92 yards from scrimmage and a receiving score. The Jets got Darnold some receiving help this week in trading a sixth-round pick to the Patriots for Demaryius Thomas. Not sure he has much left after last season's Achilles injury.
Browns at Jets Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes, Cleveland is a 2.5-point favorite (-120) with a total of 45. On the moneyline, the Browns are -145 and Jets +125. On the alternate lines, Cleveland is -3 (+105) and -2 (-125). The Browns were 5-3 against the spread on the road last season and 4-4 "over/under." The Jets are 0-1 ATS at home and 0-1 O/U.
Cleveland is 6-2 ATS in its past eight following an ATS loss. It is 2-6 ATS in its past eight on Monday. New York is 2-6 ATS in its past eight following a loss and 0-5-1 ATS in its previous six at home. The over is 6-2-1 in the Browns' past nine vs. the AFC. It's 6-2 in the Jets' past eight at home. The favorite has covered a whopping nine straight in the series.
Browns at Jets Betting Prediction
Cleveland was on a 19-game losing streak and still starting Tyrod Taylor at quarterback when it hosted the Jets on a Thursday in Week 3 last year. Down 14-0 late in the second quarter, then-coach Hue Jackson turned to Mayfield, and he helped lead a 21-17 victory … and would never be a backup again. Darnold wasn't good in going 15-for-31 for 169 yards and two picks.
Don't really trust the Browns yet, but I'll go with the more talented team and stick with that favorites trend listed above. Give the 2.5 points and go over the total. Browns win something like 28-24.
Want free NFL picks? Doc's has you covered. New clients can take advantage of this great offer of $60 in free Doc's Sports members' picks for any handicapper on Doc's Expert Handicapper list. Just check out these guys' pages and see what great work they have done making money for themselves and their clients over the years. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free . Also, get three handicappers for the price of one when you sign up for a full-season football package! Click Here for details . Get free NFL picks weekly on Doc's Sports free football picks page.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
Most Recent Monday Night Football Picks
- Monday Night Football Picks Week 16: Bills vs Patriots
- Monday Night Football Picks Week 15: Steelers at Bengals
- Monday Night Football Predictions Week 14: Ravens at Browns
- Monday Night Football Picks for Bills vs. Niners and Steelers vs. Football Team
- Monday Night Football Picks Week 12: Seahawks at Eagles
- Monday Night Football Picks Week 11: Rams at Buccaneers
- Monday Night Football Predictions Week 10: Vikings at Bears
- Monday Night Football Picks: Patriots at Jets Odds and Predictions
- Monday Night Football Picks Week 8: Buccaneers at Giants
- Monday Night Football Predictions Week 7: Bears vs. Rams