Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming MNF game utilizing moneyline, points spread, and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick.” A lean is a wager that we have a determined degree of certainty. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries, the past track records for certain conditions and bet types, and team performances leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup, including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to MNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Monday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
Browns at Jets, Monday, Sept. 16, 8:15 p.m. Eastern
The Browns opened with a relatively modest moneyline advantage. Yet the betting overview on this game has been turned upside down in the last couple of days.
The first domino to fall was the announcement that Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa would be sidelined indefinitely with a neck injury. Then, the big shoe dropped—the revelation that mono was going to knock quarterback Sam Darnold out of for multiple games—sending the Browns’ projected edge soaring. Cleveland is now a -270 ML favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook. They carry an even more massive -286 number at DK and 888 Sport.
The elevated numbers aren’t surprising, considering it’s Trevor Siemian taking over under center in New York. Siemian was nothing if not lackluster while appearing in 25 games for the Broncos in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He’s also down one wideout in Enunwa. And although the arrival of Siemian’s former Broncos teammate Demaryius Thomas could help in time, the latter is still recovering from a hamstring injury and learning the playbook.
Finally, although he’s proclaimed himself as healthy, Le’Veon Bell still missed practice Thursday to get an MRI on his sore shoulder. Granted, this is likely just some residual soreness from Bell having played his first NFL game since January 2018. But it’s yet another minor black mark on the Jets’ overall offensive outlook. Then, both C.J. Mosley (groin) and Jamal Adams (hip) are nursing injuries on the other side of the ball. Mosley missed his second straight practice Thursday while Adams was limited.
That’s an incredibly steep hill of injuries. I like the Browns in this spot.
The Pick: Browns moneyline (-270 at FanDuel)
Back to those fluctuating lines. Originally featuring a 2.5-3.0-point spread in favor of the Browns, this game now sees Cleveland just a shade under a touchdown favorite. The Browns did cover in their only game as an away favorite last season and boasted a 5-3 mark against the number overall when traveling in 2018. Meanwhile, the Jets repeatedly let down bettors last season. New York was 5-10-1 overall ATS, including 0-3-1 as a home underdog.
Again, the medical report looks too daunting for the Jets to overcome. That’s particularly true if Adams and/or Mosley miss the contest. Also of note is the fact that the Browns are likely to keep their foot on the gas for all four quarters. One, that’ll erase the memory of their putrid second-half performance in Week 1. Further, they may want to run up the score a bit on former coordinator Gregg Williams. Given the Jets’ disadvantages and talent disparity, I’m leaning strongly toward a Cleveland cover.
The Lean: Browns -6.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
The total for this game has also been on the move. Originally at 45.5-46 when both squads were presumed to be at full health, we’re now looking at 44.5 at multiple sportsbooks. The perceived drain on the Jets’ offensive firepower is certainly at cause in that drop. Then, neither defense is a doormat. That said, Gang Green’s unit would certainly take a hit if its two ailing stars were to sit this one out. On the other side, the Browns’ D isn’t 43-points bad like Week 1 might lead one to believe. After all, Mayfield’s three interceptions certainly didn’t help.
Last season, no team gave up more points per game on its home field than the Jets (31.0). The Browns’ defense was also five points per game worse (27.0, compared to 22.0) on the road. However, New York’s offense becomes much easier to defend without Darnold and, to a lesser extent, Enunwa. Athletic tight end Chris Herndon is still unavailable due to suspension as well. While I see the Browns putting in a much better offensive performance than in Week 1, I can’t see the Jets doing enough to contribute to the Over hitting.
The Pick: Under 44.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Best Prop Bet
Total TD By Home Team: Under 1.5 (+160 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
The total TD total is admittedly low, but we’re talking Trevor Siemian at quarterback here. It’s a completely plausible scenario that Siemian is able to move the ball occasionally and still falter in the red zone on multiple occasions. That’s especially true with Enunwa unavailable and Denzel Ward likely taking away Robby Anderson a large percentage of the time. The Browns should also have the luxury of heaping plenty of attention upon Bell with Siemian under center, further restricting the flow of New York’s offense and increasing the chances of them bogging down more often than not.