Browns vs. Giants Odds & Picks: Your Sunday Night Football Betting Guide
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images. Pictured: Baker Mayfield
Browns vs. Giants Odds
Can the Giants overcome key injuries against the Browns?
New York Giants
If tight end Evan Engram was the Giants’ biggest injury concern after being added to the injury report Friday, then New York would feel great.
But that’s not the case.
Engram is listed as questionable with a calf injury and while there have not been any reports suggesting he is in danger of missing the game, the team has compiled a worrisome list of notable absences elsewhere.
- QB Daniel Jones (hamstring/ankle)
- CB James Bradberry (COVID-19)
- CB Darnay Holmes (knee)
- OC Jason Garrett (COVID-19)
That means the Giants are without their two most important members of their offense: the starting quarterback and play-caller. The Giants managed to pull off a 17-12 upset of Seattle in Colt McCoy’s only start, but he was nothing more than the prototypical game manager, completing 13 of 22 passes for a measly 105 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
Across three appearances this season, McCoy is averaging 3.51 adjusted net yards per attempt, meaning the average McCoy dropback is not more valuable than handing the ball to fullback Elijhaa Penny.
This would be less concerning if the defense wasn’t also missing it’s top player in Bradberry, who ranks sixth of 138 qualifiers in Pro Football Focus’ cornerback grades, as well as its slot corner, Holmes. If active, both players would have been the primary defenders on Jarvis Landry, the Browns No. 1 receiver.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has been one of the NFL’s best game planners this season, and the Giants still do have some factors working in their favor to limit Baker Mayfield and company (more on that shortly), but it gets a lot tougher if you can’t cover the opponent’s top receiver.
Speaking of which, the Browns look to be getting positive news on that front as cornerback Denzel Ward practiced on a limited basis all week and appears set to make his return from a calf injury. Ward, who ranks 13th among 135 qualifiers in PFF’s grades, hasn’t been used in shadow coverage, but should still spend most of his time checking either Sterling Shepard or Darius Slayton.
However, the Browns are still without safeties Ronnie Harrison (IR-shoulder) and Andrew Sendejo (concussion).
McCoy (8.6) is averaging 1.5 more air yards per attempt than Jones (7.1), and there could be opportunities against a Browns defense that ranks 28th in DVOA on deep passes. The issue is McCoy hasn’t completed a pass of 20 or more air yards since 2018, and only two of his 156 dropbacks since 2015 have ended with a completion that traveled 20-plus yards in the air.
Cleveland ranks 21st in run defense DVOA, so the Giants’ plan of attack will likely involve a heavy dose of the running game led by Wayne Gallman, who is averaging 69.3 yards and 0.86 TDs on 15.1 carries over the past seven games.
Baker Mayfield’s passer rating under pressure is 37.9, which ranks 36th of 40 quarterbacks with 98 or more dropbacks. According to Pro Football Reference, the Giants have generated the NFL’s seventh-highest pressure rate (25.3%) on opposing quarterbacks despite blitzing at the 19th-highest rate (26.9%), which provides some level of optimism that they can withstand the absence of Bradberry.
Tight end Austin Hooper is questionable and would have a good matchup if he suits up, as the Giants rank 23rd in DVOA against tight ends. The Browns’ depth at the position comes in handy here, as Harrison Bryant and David Njoku have combined for 31 catches, 334 yards and 5 touchdowns behind Hooper.
Cleveland will be without guard Wyatt Teller (ankle), who grades as the top guard in the league among 89 qualifiers, both overall (93.8) and in run blocking (93.6). When Teller missed three games earlier this year, the Browns rushed for 75, 82, and 101 yards, which are their three lowest totals of the season. However, those games also coincided with the absence of Nick Chubb, who is averaging 5.9 yards per carry on 150 attempts this season.
The Giants have been solid against the run, clocking in at 14th in DVOA. Explosive plays have been a problem lately, however, as their 15% explosive run rate allowed over the past six games ranks 30th in the league, according to Sharp Football Stats.
The season-long trends favor the Giants here: New York has lost only three games by seven or more points, and Cleveland has only three wins by seven or more.
However, the Giants’ absences loom large. We haven’t seen Freddie Kitchens call plays for this team, and McCoy hasn’t been asked to do much in his limited work, either. I make this line Browns -6.5 with a total of 44.5, which is pretty in line with the market, so this is a stay-away for me.
However, I do love the over on Nick Chubb’s rushing prop, which is currently set at 73.5 at BetMGM. Chubb has rushed for 80-plus yards in 7-of-9 games with a median of 108, so the market looks to be overweighting the absence of Teller, especially with the Giants’ vulnerability to explosive runs.
Chubb is averaging 18.6 carries per game in five games since returning from injury and should get plenty of volume in a game the Giants are unlikely to run away with.
Pick: Nick Chubb Over 73.5 Rush Yards (to 84.5)