Jaguars vs. Browns Odds & Picks: Bet On Sunday’s Road Favorite To Cover
Bobby Ellis/Getty Images. Pictured: Cleveland Browns stars Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry.
Jaguars vs. Browns Odds
The Jaguars are 1-9 and have lost nine straight games. Now they host the Browns, who are 7-3 and have won three of their last four games. But will a quarterback change to Mike Glennon be enough to keep the Jaguars close in a battle between two shorthanded teams?
The 7-point spread doesn’t indicate so — and the value appears to be on laying the points with the road favorite.
Cleveland will officially be without seven players against Jacksonville, with two more listed as questionable. Starting cornerback Denzel Ward (calf) and safety Sheldrick Redwine are both out. The Browns also will be without defensive ends Myles Garrett, Porter Gustin and Joe Jackson, fullback Andy Janovich and linebacker Sione Takitaki, all of whom are on the COVID-19 list.
Despite being shorthanded, Cleveland will enter this game playing its best football of the season.
The returns of leading rusher Nick Chubb and starting guard Wyatt Teller have given the Browns their identity back: In each of the last four games Chubb has finished, he has more than 100 total yards. He also ranks second in true yards per carry, second in breakaway run rate, second in juke rate and first in yards created per touch according to PlayerProfiler.com.
Chubb and Kareem Hunt are the NFL’s most talented rushing duo. Hunt has actually been a better producer with Chubb in the lineup, averaging more rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and PPR points when both are in the lineup.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski has been able to deploy his preferred two-tight end sets with the return of Austin Hooper. Before suffering appendicitis, Hooper had three straight games with five receptions. Cleveland’s last two games have been affected by such poor weather, and his production has thus been stifled.
Hooper, David Njoku (two touchdowns) and rookie Harrison Bryant (three touchdowns) are one of the most deep and talented tight end groups in the NFL.
Veteran wide receiver Jarvis Landry has struggled all season with injuries but has also been a victim of the horrific weather over the past two games. Now he draws a matchup against Jacksonville cornerback Tre Herndon, who ranks 105th in Pro Football Focus’ cornerback grades with just a 44.6 coverage rating.
Despite the loss of NFL sack leader Garrett (9.5), the Browns have been able to generate pressure on the opposing quarterback all season. Without Garrett last week against the Eagles, they still tallied five sacks and two interceptions while also recovering a fumble.
The Jaguars have been hit even harder by injuries. On offense, they’ll be without wide receivers D.J. Chark (ribs) and Chris Conley (hip) as well as guard Andrew Norwell (forearm). On defense, they’ll be down starting cornerback Sidney Jones (Achilles), leaving them without any of their regular starting corners — C.J. Henderson, D.J. Hayden and Chris Claybrooks have already been placed on the injured reserve.
After a dismal four-interception outing by rookie Jake Luton, the Jaguars now turn to the veteran Glennon at quarterback. Operating without Chark and Conley, Glennon’s main targets in the passing game will be running back James Robinson, veteran receiver Keelan Cole Sr. and rookie receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., who remains the most explosive receiving option for the Jaguars.
Jacksonville will continue to lean heavily on Robinson, who ranks first among all running backs with an 84.5 opportunity share according to PlayerProfiler. Robinson has far exceeded expectations as an undrafted rookie out of Illinois State. He ranks third positionally in rushing yards (762), ninth in receptions (31) and sixth in fantasy points per game (17.2).
Besides the personnel limitations on offense, the Jacksonville defense has been underwhelming all season. The Jaguars rank 31st overall in defensive efficiency, including 30th in pass defense. Making matters worse, they will enter this game without any of their starting cornerbacks.
Jacksonville is too limited on both sides of the ball to keep this game close. The Browns’ rushing attack is operating at a season-high efficiency level, while the Jaguars’ offense is on its third quarterback.
Jacksonville will need a monstrous game by Robinson to have a chance, but Cleveland’s defensive weakness is against the pass. It is a difficult matchup for the Jaguars in all facets of the game.
I am laying the seven points with the Browns on the road in a game I project as a double-digit win that sees Cleveland control the ball. With Glennon under center, no Chark or Conley and a decimated secondary, I am rolling with Stefanski’s team — even as big road favorites.
PICK: Browns -7 (up to -7.5)