Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants Odds & Predictions

December 20, 8:20 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
CLE -6/NYG +6

The Cleveland Browns take on the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. It’s an important game for both teams, especially as both are coming off a loss. For the Browns, it was a forgivable loss, falling prey to a revved-up Ravens team, 47-42, on Monday. They are still 9-4, but it is imperative they get back on the winning track. The Giants, meanwhile, lost to the Cardinals in an ugly 26-7 defeat, snapping a four-game win streak that jetted them to the front of the NFC East. After losing on Sunday, they are now a game behind and need a win here to really stay in the mix.

Bad Signs From the Giants

With four wins in a row leading to last week's defeat, the Giants can't be considered down-and-out, but it was looking downright ragged at home in a key game against a Cardinals team that had lost three straight. And they simply came up snake-eyes. As usual, the defense was steadfast, something we have seen most of the season, even when the offense sputters badly. Since week five, no team playing the Giants has eclipsed the 26 point total the Cardinals put on them last week.

The offense, however, remains a sticking point for the Giants, and last week saw them at their worst. The Cardinals had eight sacks, five alone from Haason Reddick. The offensive line has apparently hit the wall. Serviceable in spots this season, they were just cringe-worthy on Sunday, and every time you looked up, Giants' QB Daniel Jones was running for his life. It threw the entire offense off-kilter, and for the whole contest, they could not get their footing. This week, against this Cleveland front, the state of the Giants’ offensive line looms as a major drawback for potential Giants’ backers.

It’s just hard to make it work when your best player is out in Saquon Barkley, and you're left with Daniel Jones trying to find his footing with a limited toolbox. But when that line isn't even up to the standards of just a bad NFL line, it just won't work. Jones is still a little compromised, only recently having returned from an injury. And no matter how much character the team has in climbing back into it after a 0-5 start or how consistent their defense has been, you need points.

Good Week To Back Cleveland?

Their loss last week was far less-distressing than New York's. Sure, it wasn't good seeing Baker Mayfield coughing up the ball in a key spot, and the Browns' run-defense and defense, in general, was just off, it's an understandable loss to a worthy foe playing with high urgency. It almost makes this a tougher spot for the Giants in that Cleveland might be more on-point than they otherwise would have been. If not for that loss, this could be a game where you’d see a deflated Cleveland team, playing an opponent out of conference that doesn’t really command much respect. Now, however, you should expect a Cleveland team fighting hard to avoid going into the most untimely of slumps.

The matchups aren’t so bad for the Browns in this one. That strong and menacing defensive line would likely make absolute mincemeat out of the offensive line we saw from the Giants last week. And while the Browns are a little banged-up in their secondary, we see that it doesn’t necessarily take a feared pass-defense to curtail the Giants’ aerial game this season. For a beleaguered offense that has to scratch for everything it can get, this might not be the best defense to be playing. Look for the Browns’ “D” to be eager to atone for giving up all those points to Baltimore last week.

Even in losing, the Browns still managed to put up 42 points on MNF against a very good Baltimore defense. And the Giants deserve full credit for their defense, avoiding being run over for most of the season. There was something impressive about their "D" even last week, giving up only 26 to the Cardinals even as their offense served up a slew of three-and-out sequences. But this is a spot where the Giants’ defense can really be stretched to the limits of their ability, with Baker Mayfield slinging it to a cavalry of talented receivers, along with backs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, two runners who also thrive in catching passes.

Cleveland Browns vs. New York Giants Prediction ATS

It's not an easy spot for the Browns. While it is Cleveland who is fancied as the far better team, it is the Giants who have been imminently more-superior from a betting sense, at 8-5, as opposed to 5-8 for the Browns—a staggeringly-poor ATS mark for a team that has overperformed by most people's estimations this season. I just think their paths intercept here in a way that better suits Cleveland. I see urgency setting in as Cleveland pulls away from a Giants' squad that has maybe hit a wall. I'll take Cleveland.

Free Pick: 
Take the Browns -6