New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns 12/28/23 Free Pick, NFL Odds, NFL Predictions

New York Jets (6-9) at Cleveland Browns (10-5)

Game Info: Thursday, December 28th, 2023 at  8:20 p.m. EST (Cleveland Browns Stadium)

Betting Odds: Browns -7.5 (-102) - Over/Under (35)

Pick: Browns -7.5 (-102)

Thursday night takes us to Cleveland where the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets will face off in this Thursday night matchup. This is one of the most anticipated games of the season for Cleveland and there are plenty of implications on the line for both teams. For the New York Jets, it’s all about where they will select the upcoming NFL draft after the injury plagued season they’ve had. As for the Cleveland Browns, it is all about clinching a playoff spot after the injury plagued season that they’ve had themselves as these two teams have had very different years and both of them came into the season with similar expectations. This is a rematch of last season’s game where the New York Jets came into Cleveland and won with an incredible comeback in the final two minutes and he will likely get a similar type of game here and this one on Thursday night to kickoff week 17 of the season.

The New York Jets had high hopes coming into the regular season until Aaron Rodgers went down with a season ending injury only four plays into their opening game. Now they will look to potentially spoil the hopes of the Cleveland Browns with another huge victory over Cleveland for the second consecutive season in a row. The New York Jets have still been able to rely on their defense to pick up some victories down the stretch and despite the fact they are going to finish the season with a losing record they have plenty to build off of into the future when Rogers returns next season. 

New York will have plenty to improve on when Aaron Rodgers returns next season as they have struggled at times, and been inconsistent on both sides of the football throughout the year. However, it’ll be a welcomed return after less than impressive quarterback play throughout the year that has let them do a losing season. They will need to rely on their defense if they want to upset the Cleveland Browns here in this one on Thursday night in Cleveland and potentially shake up the playoff picture heading into the last two weeks of the regular season. A victory in this game for the New York Jets would provide them with a huge momentum boost, heading into the final game of the regular season as they look to build up as much momentum as possible heading into the offseason and the draft.

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Despite all the injuries that have piled up for this franchise, the Cleveland Browns have put together a tremendous season, and they are on the doorstep of making a playoff appearance. A victory in this game would clinch a playoff spot for the Cleveland Browns heading into the final game of the regular season against the Cincinnati Bengals. They still have an outside shot of winning the AFC North division heading into this week as well, but they will need to be perfect throughout the final two weeks of the year. They are on their fourth quarterback of the season, and Joe Flacco is leading them on an incredible run at the moment, and he will look to maintain that incredible run with another quality performance here on Thursday night against his old team at home. 

Cleveland comes into this game, closing in on a wildcard spot and their first playoff appearance in three years as they look to make some noise throughout the postseason. Much like the New York Jets they’ve been carried by their incredible defense throughout the majority of the year and that is something that will need to continue throughout the playoffs if they want to be successful and have an opportunity to bring home a Super Bowl. With all the injuries that have piled up for them throughout the year, it seems impossible that they are sitting here with a winning record, but they have overcome the adversity and put themselves in a position to be successful the remainder of the year.

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Cleveland is 7-1 at home 

- New York is 2-4 on the road

- Cleveland is 7-1 as a favorite 

I expect this to be a solid back-and-forth game throughout the early part of the contest, but in the end, I do look for the Cleveland Browns to pull away and pick up the win over the New York Jets. If this was a game where both teams were fully healthy this would arguably be one of the best games of the season. However, that is not the case that I look for the New York Jets to be unable to overcome their disadvantage of the quarterback position as I look for Cleveland’s defense to make the necessary stops to pick up a much-needed win here at home on Thursday night.

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