On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC showdown with significant playoff implications. In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full matchup preview. In addition, find our Jaguars Vs. Browns best bet which is the Jaguars ML.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Cleveland Browns Prediction
The Jaguars had a disastrous Monday Night Football game where they lost to the Bengals as 10-point favorites. They also saw Trevor Lawrence suffer a significant ankle injury and WR Christian Kirk suffer a likely season-ending injury. After that game, they flipped to an underdog this week as they travel to face a Browns team coming off a disappointing 17-point loss to the Rams.
C.J. Beathard performed admirably last week, completing 9 of 10 passes for 63 yards as he attempted to help the Jaguars hold onto their lead, but it wasn’t enough. A whole week to prepare for this game as the starter could help, but he’s facing an elite Browns defense that ranks 2nd in DVOA and first in EPA.
Meanwhile, we have Joe Flacco under center for the Browns as the fourth quarterback to take meaningful snaps for the team this season. Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson was out last week with a concussion. While he should technically be able to return this week, early indications are that Flacco will remain the starter.
The Jaguars have been excellent on defense this season, their Monday Night Football loss notwithstanding. Jacksonville ranks 6th on defense in DVOA and has been especially great defending the run, where they rank 3rd in DVOA and 4th in defensive line yards. That affords them the opportunity to stay competitive against what is expected to be a rather limited Browns offense this week.
Ultimately, there’s a ton of uncertainty in this game. How will the weather impact the game? Can C.J. Beathard or Joe Flacco replicate their relative success from last week? Is Myles Garrett fully healthy? All of these questions make this a stay-away for me, but I’d recommend including the Jaguars ML in an underdog Round Robin, as the uncertainty in this game makes the underdog somewhat enticing.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Cleveland Browns Prediction: Jaguars ML
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Cleveland Browns Best Odds
The odds for this game have the Browns as 3-point favorites, and there was significant movement after the Jaguars lost on Monday Night Football and saw Trevor Lawrence suffer a significant ankle injury. The total currently sits at 32.5 points, and that has moved down significantly due in large part to the expected wind and rain in Cleveland. The current numbers have an implied score of around 17-14 in favor of the home Browns.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Cleveland Browns Key Injuries
The Browns are expected to get CB Denzel Ward back in the lineup this week, but ED Myles Garrett has been dealing with an injury that severely hampered his effectiveness last week. QB Trevor Lawrence is expected to be out for the Jaguars, while RB Travis Etienne has been dealing with an ongoing ribs issue that has him listed as questionable this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Cleveland Browns Key Matchups
While both the Jaguars and Browns are onto backup quarterbacks this week, there are some intriguing matchups to make note of. Let’s break them down here.
Calvin Ridley Vs. Denzel Ward
The Jaguars will be even more reliant on Calvin Ridley, who is back on the field this season for the first time after a suspension. Ridley has had a strong season with 51 catches for 689 yards and five touchdowns, but Christian Kirk has often been the first read in the offense, and Ridley will need to take on a greater burden with Kirk injured.
The Browns got cornerback Denzel Ward back in the lineup this week, and he’s expected to be the team’s top option to cover RIdley on the boundary. Ward ranks just 60th out of 130 qualified cornerbacks in PFF coverage grades, so it hasn’t been his best season, but when he’s in peak form, he’s one of the league’s best cover corners.
Jerome Ford Vs. Jaguars’ Run Defense
With the Browns onto their fourth quarterback of the season, I expect them to employ a heavy run-based approach, especially given the ugly weather conditions in Cleveland this week. Jerome Ford will be the focal point of that attack with Nick Chubb out for the season, and Ford has been a solid option, averaging 4.2 yards per carry.
The Jaguars have been elite against the run all season, however, ranking top three in DVOA and success rate against the run. I expect Ford to have a difficult time gaining significant traction against this defense, with linebackers Foyesade Oluokun and Devin Lloyd having excellent seasons in run defense.
Jacksonville Jaguars Depth Chart
Cleveland Browns Depth Chart
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