New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns: Prediction, Odds, Depth Charts (12/28/23)

The Cleveland Browns play host to the New York Jets on Thursday night (12/28/23). In this article, find the latest betting odds for the primetime matchup and a full game breakdown. In addition, find our Jets vs. Browns best bet which is under 34.5 points.

New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Prediction

In the final Thursday Night Football game of the season, we’ll watch Trevor Siemian face Joe Flacco in one of the grossest quarterback matchups of the season. Among 55 quarterbacks with 50+ dropbacks this season, Flacco ranks 32nd in EPA+CPOE while Siemian ranks 54th. While the total is set at a painfully low 34.5 points here, I believe it’s not low enough.

Everyone is freaking out about Joe Flacco’s rebirth, but stories like this often have an expiration date and I believe his is coming on Thursday night. Flacco has thrown seven interceptions across his four starts, and while he has three games with three touchdowns, those both came against the Texans and Jaguars, who are outside the top 20 defenses against the pass by EPA since Week 9.

The Jets’ defense, meanwhile, is third in DVOA against the pass this season. The strength of that unit comes from an elite defensive line that ranks fourth in pressure rate despite the Jets blitzing at the second-lowest rate in the league. With a base Cover 2 defense designed to limit big plays and a front that can generate pressure with four guys, this pass defense has smothered even the league’s best passers. I’m betting on him having his worst game of the year here and I’d be targeting his under on passing props.

I shouldn’t need to sell you on the Jets struggling to score. They’re dead last in offensive DVOA and EPA, and while they found a way to score 30 points last week, it came against a lifeless Commanders’ defense that has given up on the season. They’ve been held to 13 or fewer points in seven of their last nine games, and I’d consider that to be their absolute ceiling here.

Trevor Siemian had an atrocious game last week with 4.4 yards per attempt against the league’s worst defense against the pass by DVOA. His PFF passing grade this season is a painfully low 30.7. The Browns’ defense has been nails at home this season, allowing just 13 points per game, and Myles Garrett should wreak havoc against an offensive line ranked 26th in pass block win rate per ESPN.

New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Prediction: Under 34.5 Points

New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Best Odds

The Browns are favored by 7.5 points on Thursday night with an over/under currently sitting at 34.5 points. Those numbers would lead to an implied score of around 21-13. Be sure to shop around for the best odds before placing a wager as the numbers can vary on different sportsbooks. Keep in mind that 7 is a key number for spreads and 34 is a key number for totals.

New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Key Injuries

The Browns have suffered a ton of injuries this season, and they’re now adding kicker Dustin Hopkins and punter Corey Bojorquez to the list, both of whom are expected to miss the game on Thursday. Wide receiver Amari Cooper is an important player to watch with a heel injury keeping him out of practice on Wednesday. Offensive tackles Jack Conklin, Jedrick Wills, and Dawand Jones are all out, which is concerning against an elite Jets D-line.

New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Key Matchups

While there aren’t expected to be a ton of points scored on Thursday night, there are some interesting matchups to take stock of on both sides of the ball. Let’s break down the key matchups that will help determine the outcome of the game on Thursday night.

Amari Cooper vs. Sauce Gardner

In a historic outing on Sunday, Amari Cooper set the franchise record with 265 receiving yards on 11 catches. He also scored two touchdowns in the game. The Texans had no answers for him, and the former Pro Bowl wideout has now set a career high with 1,250 yards this season.

The Jets will surely be keying in on him this week, and I expect to see a lot of Sauce Gardner in coverage against Cooper. Gardner is the second-highest graded cornerback in coverage this season per PFF, and quarterbacks often don’t even bother throwing in his direction, as he has seen just 48 targets all season. Cooper’s receiving yardage prop is set at 57.5, and I’d consider the under there.

Breece Hall vs. Browns’ Run Defense

Facing the Commanders’ defense last week was a breath of fresh air for Breece Hall, who finished the game with 191 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. It’s been a tough year for Hall, whose rookie season ended with a torn ACL last year. Dealing with a putrid offensive line and a brutal quarterback situation has made his life difficult.

Unfortunately for Hall, this matchup won’t provide nearly the same openings that the Commanders did last week. The Browns rank first in the NFL in run defense DVOA, and Jim Schwartz’s defense has swallowed up running backs on a weekly basis. Hall will still see volume as this Jets’ offense lacks real skill position depth, but I’d temper your expectations in this matchup.

New York Jets Depth Chart

QB: Zach Wilson
RB1: Breece Hall
RB2: Dalvin Cook
LWR: Allen Lazard
RWR: Garrett Wilson
SWR: Randall Cobb
TE1: Tyler Conklin

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart

QB: Joe Flacco
RB1: Jerome Ford
RB2: Kareem Hunt
LWR: Amari Cooper
RWR: Cedric Tillman
SWR: Elijah Moore
TE1: David Njoku

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I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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