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NFL locks of the week: Thursday night edition

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New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns

 

The Facts:

Kickoff:  Thursday September 20th 8:20pm ET

Over/Under: 39.5

Spread: Cleveland -3 / New York +3

Money Line:  Cleveland -170 / New York +153

Weather:  84 with minimal cloud coverage

 

How My Brain Works:

 

The Cleveland Browns play host to the New York Jets in the Thursday night showdown this week.  This match-up is much like the last kid who gets picked in gym class playing against himself.  That is what the statistics, and the past indicates.  However, I watched Hard Knocks, and like most Americans, I was brainwashed by these new look Browns.  Additionally, if their kicker could have figured out how his leg works, the Browns are looking at, if not 2-0, a 1-1 start. I mean come-on, how many games can you ACTUALLY lose in a row?  If math still holds true in the universe, the Browns are due for a win, right?

 

On the flip side of the coin until they win, the Browns are still very much the Browns.  Losing football games in ways only the Browns can lose football games.  With that in mind, the Browns are still coming in as the favorite in this game.  More importantly, the Browns are 2-0 against the spread to start the football season.  With the spread of this game sitting at a dismal +/- 3, I believe that the Browns defense (tied for 11th best in the league in points allowed) will keep the Jets offense at bay and cover the spread.  In their first two games, the Browns defense held both the Steelers and Saints offenses to 21 points each.  Teams that are led by two future first ballot HOF quarterbacks with multiple offensive weapons.  As for the Jets offense, Sam Darnold hasn’t done enough for me to give him the benefit of the doubt.  The Jets receiving core is average at best.  The O-line hasn’t supported the run game enough to open the field up for Sam’s downfield playmaking.

 

This game has two possible outcomes in my opinion.  The first outcome is an absolute low scoring game.  A game that will be hard to watch with minimal touchdowns and a few field goals.  This scenario I predict yields a score of 15ish-10ish in favor of the Browns.  The second outcome is a multiple touchdown deficit with a predicted score of 42ish-20ish.  Scenario one is a long-awaited Cleveland win.  The latter is the Darnold show in which he throws for 4-5 touchdowns and finally lives up to the hype.

 

My Pick(s):

 

With the majority of the Vegas bets placed in favor of the Browns, the money line is heavily favored for a nice payout if the Jets pull away with the outright win.  I repeat, an outright win, not a cover.  However, I just cannot for the life of me feel good about putting my chips down on the Jets quite yet.  So, as much as this pick makes my stomach turn, I am taking the Browns to cover the spread this Thursday night against the Jets. Hopefully Cleveland is ready for those coolers to unlock.

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NFL locks of the week: Thursday night edition