The Cleveland Browns and New York Giants are both chasing the NFL playoffs. Both teams lost last week and both are second in their respective divisions. One team appears much better than the other though.
The Browns are 9-4 and enjoying their best season in almost two decades. The Giants are just 5-8, have one of the league’s worst offenses, but still have hopes of earning a playoff berth.
New York will play Sunday night’s game at home, but will home field advantage play a role?
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Game: Cleveland Browns (9-4, 5-8 ATS) at New York Giants (5-8, 8-5 ATS)
When: 8:20 PM ET, Sunday, December 20, 2020
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Current Line: CLE -4 Total: 45.5
TV Coverage: NBC
Mopping Up Inferior Talent
Cleveland has fared very well this season against teams with losing records. In fact, the Browns have won just two games against teams with winning records – Indianapolis and Tennessee.
The Browns 2020 season can thank the NFL scheduling committee for giving the team one of the easiest schedules in the league. Surprisingly, the Browns have actually had some difficulty beating some of the league’s worst teams.
Cleveland beat Jacksonville, which is just 1-12, by a mere two points, 27-25. The Browns own two wins – 35-30 and 37-34 – over their AFC North Division rival Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are just 2-10-1 on the season.
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Run Game on Fleek
Still, Cleveland has prospered because of a solid running game. The Browns are sixth in the NFL in rushing averaging 156.2 yards per game. Leading rusher Nick Chubb has 881 yards and nine touchdowns. Kareem Hunt has rushed for 772 yards and five scores.
Where the Browns struggle at times is in the passing game where QB Baker Mayfield has been up and down. Cleveland is 25th in the NFL in passing offense.
The only reason New York has any chance of even a sniff at the playoffs is because of a defense that ranks in the NFL’s top ten in a few categories. The big one is scoring where the Giants are 10th giving up 22.4 points per game. They also rank seventh against the run giving up just 101.4 yards a game. If these stats don’t give you enough confidence, maybe look at buying picks.
Prior to last week’s loss to Arizona, the Giants had won four straight thanks to the defense. The Giants D gave up just 16.5 points per game in those four wins.
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Browns at Giants Free Pick
Where New York struggles is on offense and at home. The Giants offense scores just 18.3 points a game, 30th in the league. QB Daniel Jones has been a huge disappointment in his second season. He’s also been hurt, but he wasn’t playing well before his injury either.
The Giants also struggle at home at MetLife Stadium. New York is just 34-50-2 ATS at home since moving to MetLife Stadium in 2010. In general, home field advantage isn’t really a thing in the NFL. Since 2004, road teams are 2,251-2,133-129 ATS.
Just last week, both the Browns and the Giants lost at home. The Giants have just two home wins this season and both are against NFC East opponents.
NFL Free Pick: CLEVELAND -4
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