Sunday Night Football Picks And Predictions: Browns at Giants

Written By Esten McLaren on December 17, 2020

With only three weeks remaining in the 2020 NFL regular season, the Week 15 Sunday Night Football matchup between the Cleveland Browns (9-4) and New York Giants (5-8) at MetLife Stadium can drastically impact the playoff picture. This game was flexed into the primetime SNF spot and the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff, accordingly, in place of the San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys matchup. This page will look at the Sunday Night Football betting odds at the top US sportsbooks, and we’ll make our picks for the moneyline, spread, and over/under between the Browns and Giants.

Both teams are coming off a Week 14 home loss but remain second in their respective divisions. Cleveland lost 47-42 to the Baltimore Ravens in a thrilling Monday Night Football battle; New York was throttled 26-7 by the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants will head to Baltimore in Week 16 before hosting the Dallas Cowboys in their regular-season finale, as they try to move back ahead of the Washington Football Team in the NFC East. The Browns return to MetLife Stadium to play the New York Jets next week before hosting the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17.

The Browns come in as 5-point road favorites after opening at 3.5 points last week. Actionable betting advice will be provided here as either a “pick” or a “lean” on each bet type. Picks are for bets that can be made at the listed odds and come with a high degree of confidence in matchup advantages. Leans are advised in anticipation of the lines moving in the desired direction, or may hinge on injury news.

My Sunday Night Football Betting Preview at TheLines dives deeper into the Browns-Giants matchup to help you prepare for your Week 15 betting picks.

Browns at Giants odds

Browns at Giants picks: Moneyline

Cleveland enters Week 15 in the AFC’s fifth playoff seed while trailing the Steelers for the division crown. The Giants, meanwhile, are 12th overall in the NFC and essentially need the division title to make the playoffs.

The Browns had won four straight games and nine of 11 since Week 1 before their Week 14 loss. The Giants had also won four straight after starting the season 1-7. New York is 2-4 at home while Cleveland is 4-2 on the road. Both teams have a negative point differential with Cleveland minus-20 and New York minus-53 through 14 weeks.

Led by a red-hot QB Baker Mayfield, the Cleveland offense is the greatest differentiator in this matchup. The Browns are third by Pro Football Focus’ offensive grades and 10th by Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA. The Giants offense ranks 28th in both of those metrics. Mayfield topped 300 passing yards in each of his last two games while leading the Browns to 83 points; he had six passing touchdowns against just one interception and added his first rushing score of the season.

Giants QB Daniel Jones will be questionable for Week 15 due to hamstring and ankle injuries. He completed just 11 of 21 passes for a meager 127 yards in last week’s loss. Backup Colt McCoy could be forced to make his second start in three weeks. While he helped the Giants to a shocking 17-12 road win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13, he went just 13-for-22 with 105 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

The Browns haven’t lost back-to-back games all season. They’re the play at a modest moneyline tag in the range of -210 to -230. Act quickly as the value is likely to drop if Jones is ultimately ruled out.

The pick: Browns (-220 or better)

Browns at Giants picks: Against the spread

The trends point to New York. The Giants are 8-5 against the spread overall. Though they lose by an average of 4.1 points per game, they cover the spread by 1.0 PPG. They’re 8-3 ATS as underdogs, but just 2-4 ATS at home where they lose by 7.8 PPG and fail to cover by 3.2 PPG. Cleveland is just 5-8 ATS overall. The Browns lose by 1.5 PPG and fail to cover by 2.6 PPG. They’re 3-5 ATS as a favorite, and 2-4 ATS on the road.

Only four of the Browns’ nine wins were decided by a margin great than 5 points and only four of the Giants’ eight losses were by 5 or more points. Cleveland is 1-2 ATS on spreads greater than 4.5 points; New York is 5-1 ATS when spotted at least 5 points.

Still, the Giants are coming off an ugly 19-point loss; it quickly dampened optimism coming out of the upset win at Seattle. Offensively, they’ve faced the easiest strength of schedule while the Browns have played the second-toughest defensively.

It’s a possible letdown spot for Cleveland coming off a convincing win at the Tennessee Titans and the tough loss vs. Baltimore; however, first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski is a Coach of the Year candidate with +1100 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, and he should be expected to get his team back on track with a convincing win. Wait this one out to see if Jones is ruled out and take the Browns even if the spread grows to -5.5 or -6. Jones is much better equipped to lead a backdoor cover.

The lean: Browns (-5 or better)

Browns at Giants picks: Over/Under (total)

The Over/Under of 44 or 44.5 for Sunday Night Football is on the lower end of the scale for the 16-game Week 15 slate. The Giants, who are 3-10 against the O/U for the season, have been held to fewer than 20 points in each of their last three games and held their opponents to 20 or fewer points in all four games of their recently-snapped win streak. Meanwhile, the Browns (8-5 against the O/U) scored a total of 83 points in their last two games and gave up 82.

Additionally, the Giants are second-to-last in the NFL in Pass Block Win Rate and last in pressure allowed. The Browns are 15th in Pass Rush Win Rate and 29th in pressure rate, but still 11th in sacks with 34.

Cleveland, led by DE Myles Garrett, should be able to keep a less-mobile Jones or McCoy below 20 points. The Browns offense should also show some regression on a shorter week. Lean to the Under with a smaller-than-usual wager.

The lean: UNDER (44 or better)

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Esten McLaren

Esten grew up on a golf course and made the switch from real-life trunk slammer to the daily fantasy realm as soon as the game was launched. He's been betting golf regularly for the better part of the last 10 years, most memorably winning big on Rory McIlroy's 2014 Open title, but a trip to Carnoustie for the 2018 Open and a walk around St. Andrews share the honor for best golf highlight. He has written about all major sports at FNTSY Sports Network, theScore, and SportsBookWire.

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