On the 50th year of Monday Night Football, the two teams who started it all–the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns–entered the primetime spotlight once again. Week two saw Cleveland travel to MetLife Stadium as 6.5 point favorites to take on a Jet team was beat up to say the least. With starting quarterback Sam Darnold out along with big offseason acquisition linebacker C.J. Mosley and rookie Quinnen Williams on the defense, the Jets looked completely outmatched on Monday night. While it wasn’t the finely tuned performance most Browns were hoping for. It was however a decided victory in an NFL football game and Browns fans will take that every time. The Browns cruised to a 23 – 3 win and an easy cover as 6.5 road favorites.
The defense looked strong lead by Myles Garrett who added three to his sack total, injuring Jet quarterback Trevor Simian in the process. Garretts DPOY odds have seen a steady decline from an offseason number of as high as +1400 now down to +800 in most places. I still believe that to be good value but with more performances like Monday night that number will just keep on shrinking. Like we talked about in the season preview, this guy is an absolute monster, and is now on pace for those 20+ sacks we were anticipating in the offseason.
Cleveland Browns Odds to Win AFC North and Browns Odds for NFL Week 3
After the win, and the news of Ben Roethlisberger missing the season, the Browns are now +150 to win the AFC North. That’s second choice behind Baltimore who are at -130 after their hot start to the season. The news of big Ben has pushed the Steelers odds up to +850. It really seems to be a two-horse race for the division. The Browns kick off a brutal part of their schedule this week with Rams and will then travel to Baltimore in week 4 for what should be another test for this young team.
The Browns stay in the primetime spotlight this week as they take on the Rams at First Energy Stadium on Sunday night. This is a huge spot for the Browns and will be a real test for this young team. The line opened at LA -2.5 and was quickly bet up to LA -3 where it has stayed steady, with a total of O/U 49. Early action on the game has been very Ram heavy to the tune of roughly 80% of the money has been bet on the Rams. Expect that number to come down substantially before game time.
I believe the offensive game plan on Monday against the Jets, while it got the job done, was a bit of a decoy for the Rams. I expect the Browns to come out against the Rams and play with a lot more pace than they showed last week. I would expect a 2-minute offense several times in the first half including the opening drive. When this team and Baker Mayfield were really good last year it was when they were playing with pace, the Browns hope to continue to cut down on the penalty flags that have hampered them from doing that so far this season. This a great early season test for Cleveland and should answer a lot of questions as to how good the Browns really are right now.