The sportsbooks have released their NFL odds for this week’s action. One game, in particular, interests me as worth investing in: Cleveland vs. Jacksonville.
For reasons that I will explain, you should play both money-line and total for this game.
Feel free to parlay both bets at one of our top sports betting sites in order to maximize your profit.
Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Friday, August 12, 2022 – 07:00 PM EDT at TIAA Bank Field
Hall of Fame Game
Jacksonville, with its new coaching staff, already got its feet wet in this year's preseason as it played in the Hall of Fame Game.
Despite having collected this bit of playing experience already, the Jaguars are receiving few signs of optimism from bettors outside the fanbase.
The lack of hope in Jacksonville's chances in this game derives at least in part from the results of its first game. While the Jaguars lost the Hall of Fame Game 27-11, one shouldn't place too much emphasis on Jacksonville's defeat for at least one key reason.
The Jaguars’ Plan
Jacksonville head coach Doug Pederson and Las Vegas head coach Josh McDaniels had discussed their upcoming game beforehand. They had agreed to keep things basic and vanilla.
McDaniels, however, diverged from this plan and employed higher levels of creativity than Jacksonville could have expected.
Las Vegas' extra effort, spearheaded by its new head coach, thus created a result that fosters a misleading impression of where Jacksonville is at right now.
According to the current odds, Jacksonville is favored. Public bettors gravitate towards Cleveland, which is obviously the "better" team despite being the underdog.
Weather aside –Jacksonville is notably tougher to play in, weather-wise, for northern-based players, handicapping is almost never as simple as betting on the "better" team.
Consideration of a team's overall quality –as you might see it rated in a video game– must be qualified by its readiness at this point of the year and its motivation to perform well in a game that does not count in the way that regular season games count.
Cleveland's Offensive Issues
Cleveland is so far removed from where it will be in the regular season. On the one hand, Cleveland is trying to break in a totally new group of quarterbacks.
Deshaun Watson –he may see some preseason action– hasn't played in a couple of years.
Josh Dobbs and Josh Rosen are also new to the team. These new quarterbacks are attempting to develop chemistry with a uniquely work-in-progress wide receiver group. Amari Cooper is also new.
Many Brown receivers have dealt with injuries that kept them from spending much time connecting with their quarterbacks.
The list of wide receivers who have been hindered in their training camp progress from injury includes David Bell, Anthony Schwartz, Michael Woods, and Isaiah Weston.
Jacksonville's Developing Pass Attack
Whereas Cleveland's pass attack is starting on ground zero with each other, the Jaguars' pass attack is building off last year.
Trevor Lawrence is building consistency in terms of decision-making, which is one aspect of his overall improvement.
There is not a chance that last Summer he could have lasted three consecutive practice sessions without throwing an interception, let alone making a bad decision.
Jacksonville's pass defense gives its own pass attack an additional edge over the Browns' passing game. The Browns' raw pass attack must contend with an improved secondary in which Tyson Campbell is building off the strong end to his year last year.
Andre Cisco is also showing off his physicality and energy during Training Camp. Physicality is also evident in the Jaguar defensive line, which has done a great job of getting to the opposing quarterback.
Josh Allen with his speed and top draft pick, and Travon Walker with his power on the other side of the defensive line, are proving to be a great duo. Finally, Allen has someone to take attention away from him.
Even if these defenders sit out this game, Jaguar backups are also strongly showing positive signs in practice. Notably, linebacker Rashod Berry showed off his pass-rushing skills, Foye Oluokun his run-stopping on the goal-line, and Daniel Thomas his pass defense in the red zone.
Cleveland's Ground Game
Cleveland's biggest success will come on the ground, which means that the clock will be running down more easily.
The Jaguars' run defense looked really worrisome during the Hall of Fame Game, and Cleveland's run-blocking and depth at running back make it a strong candidate to run well against the Jaguar defense.
Lack of Stars
In addition to Cleveland favoring the run game, Jacksonville's lack of offensive weaponry also suggests a lower-scoring game.
Travis Etienne has gotten many very positive remarks, but his season-long injury last year likely entails that he'll be handled with extra caution during the preseason.
New free agent signings especially in the passing game have not been making big plays. Questionable talent on the offensive line will further limit this offense's big-play potential.
Expect a win from Jacksonville behind improved quarterback play and stronger pass defense, while a run-heavy Brown offense and lack of big-play potential help keep the game lower-scoring.
For the above reasons, parlay the Jaguars ML with the "under" for your NFL Picks.
- Jaguars ML (-128)
- Under 33 (-115)
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.