Jaguars QB David Garrard has posted back-to-back marvelous performances, and the Jags refuse to go away in the highly contested AFC South. On the flip side, the Browns seem on the cusp of turning things around and plucky rookie QB Colt McCoy deserves to stay under center no matter the health of Delhomme or Wallace. The (5-4) Jacksonville Jaguars will look to remain in the hunt this weekend when they host the (3-6) Cleveland Browns into EverBank Field, kickoff slated for 1PM EST. Maurice Jones-Drew and Peyton Hillis have vastly different styles, but can take over games at any moment. The Browns need to respond to a heartbreaking OT loss, while the Jags can’t get too high after a ridiculous last-second win.
The Browns were expected to be a competitive young squad at the start of the season and if they had played better in the fourth quarter thus far, they could’ve been the surprise playoff contender of the year. The Browns aren’t in as good a shape in the standings as the Jaguars. At 3-6, they’re three games behind two of the AFC’s strongest teams — Pittsburgh and Baltimore — and it seems that even if Cleveland makes a strong late-season push, a wild-card will be their best way into the playoffs. But whatever end the Browns’ season brings, they have made strides in recent weeks. Rookie Colt McCoy has moved into the starting lineup at quarterback, and while the Browns have split his starts, they have shown significant improvement.
After a loss to the Steelers in his first start, Cleveland beat New Orleans and New England in back-to-back games, then lost to the New York Jets in overtime this past week.The Browns were due for some injuries, and now they’re finally here. Scott Fujita, Sheldon Brown, Billy Yates, and Josh Cribbs, headline a long list of guys missing practice this week. Are the Browns deep enough to play at a high level without these guys? You could argue these injuries came at the right time however. The Browns are finally playing some teams they’ll have some margin of error against. The Browns have played to the level of their competition all year, and I worry they may come out flat against a more mediocre Jags team. This game isn’t nearly as sexy as their last five contests, and that brutal loss to the Jets might be tough to forget about. The Browns haven’t played away from Cleveland since they went to New Orleans on October 24th. That will be a month ago come Sunday, so it’s possible they struggle to adjust.
The Jaguars, picked by many to finish well below .500, have endured an inconsistent start to push to within a game of first place in the AFC South, and they did so last weekend with one of the most remarkable NFL finishes in recent memory. With less than 30 seconds remaining, the Jaguars were trying to prevent a game-winning field-goal drive by the Houston Texans. But the Texans lost a fumble at the Jaguars 34 with eight seconds remaining and after an 11-yard pass and a five-yard penalty against Houston, Jaguars quarterback David Garrard passed 50 yards to Mike Thomas, who caught the ball on a deflection from Texans cornerback Quin GloverThe team averages 21 points and 330 yards per game.
The Jaguars are playing at home for the sixth time on the season and own a 3-2 record. They own notable home victories this season at Indianapolis and last week produced a 31-24 win against the Houston Texans as a 1 point home favorite. The Jaguars were able to gain 491 yards on the Texans defense last week. The team found good balance in victory. The Jaguars rushed it 36 times for 165 yards. Quarterback David Garrard completed 24 of 31 passes for 342 yards with two touchdowns and no picks. Maurice Jones Drew was big with 24 rushes for 100 yards with two touchdowns. Wide out Mike Thomas led the team with 8 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Zach Miller had 4 catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. The Jacksonville defense gives up 27 points and 387 yards per game. Last week the Jaguars allowed their AFC South opponent to 395 yards last week. Jacksonville limited the Texans run game by allowing just 81 yards on 21 carries. Jacksonville’s struggle against the pass continued last week by allowing Matt Schaub to 22 of 32 completions for 314 yards and two touchdowns. Jacksonville’s lack of pass rush reared its ugly head with no sacks last week..The Jaguars have one quality win, defeating the Indianapolis Colts at home in Week 4. Their other wins have come against bad teams in Denver, Buffalo, Dallas, and Houston (yes, defeating the 4-5 Texans on a hail marry does not count as a quality win). The Colts are the one opponent they’ve defeated this season with a winning record.
Browns vs Jaguars Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Cleveland Browns +1.5
@ Jacksonville Jaguars -1.5
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Browns vs Jaguars Predictions for Week 11:
Game Total Prediction (TOP PLAY) – These two teams have been firing on all cylinders offensively as of late and defenses are having difficulty slowing down each others rushing assaults. The more suprising of the two, from an offensive perspective, is the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have climbed the mountain of respectability on the heels of RB Peyton Hillis. This bruising back brings a style of running that we haven’t seen since the 80’s and a case could be made for him being the best back in the league at this very moment. The Browns will be able to find the endzone this Sunday, which makes this OVER so much more enticing because the Jags definitely will score. The Jaguars turn into different creatures when they play in the confines of EverBank Field. They are offensive juggernauts at home and I expect much the same this Sunday. The total has gone OVER in 6 of Cleveland’s last 7 games, while the total has gone OVER in 4 of Cleveland’s last 5 games on the road. The total has gone OVER in 5 of Jacksonville’s last 6 games. It is also important to note, the total has gone over in 3 of the previous 4 outings between these two clubs. We will consider this game sneaking past the posted total as both clubs will be hard pressed to stop each others flying offenses.
Spread Prediction – It is duly noted that the Jacksonville Jaguars have had their fair share of trouble with the men from northern Ohio, most recently losing to the hands of them by a tally of 23-17. The Jaguars have been one of the more frustrating and difficult teams to gauge this campaign as they are playing extremely inconsistent ball. For all of this negative naysay against the Jaguars, they are perennial beasts in the second half of their seasons. The Jaguars own a 85% home winning percentage in the latter half of their seasons dating back to 2004. It should also be noted that Jacksonville is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games at home The Cleveland Browns have been playing well over their heads for the last three weeks and are more then due for a let down performance this week. Don’t let the Browns recent success cloud your perception of this club, Cleveland is 8-17 SU in its last 25 games and is 3-12 SU in its last 15 games on the road. I believe the book may finally be out on how to slow down Peyton Hillis and Colt McCoy is a rookie and he still is going through his growing pains. If Browns are going to get in postseason contention, they will have do it on road. Cleveland plays four of next five games away from home, I just don’t see that happening. We will side with the home team and the points in this one. Cheers!
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