Cleveland Jax

The Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars have both made modest amounts of progress during the 2010 NFL season. They meet this weekend in Jacksonville.

NFL Betting: Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Online Betting Odds: Jacksonville Jaguars -1

Why To Bet On The Browns
Cleveland might be only 3-6 on the season, but coach Eric Mangini has the Browns playing at an appreciably high level. Cleveland has just endured the roughest part of its schedule, emerging from a three-game gauntlet as a legitimately better team than it was heading into it. The Browns played the defending Super Bowl champions from the New Orleans Saints, followed by the New England Patriots and the New York Jets, the teams with the two best records in the AFC. Cleveland went 2-1 against that trio of teams, whacking the Saints and Patriots by double digits before losing to the Jets in overtime. Cleveland has thrived for a number of reasons, chiefly the fact that backup quarterback Colt McCoy has displayed exceptional leadership for the Browns’ offense. McCoy has started four games, and in his last three outings, he hasn’t thrown a single interception. NFL success is so substantially dependent on ball security, and McCoy is delivering that to Mangini and the rest of the Browns’ coaching staff. Players trust McCoy as a leader, and that’s part of why Cleveland marched downfield and scored a tying touchdown at the end of regulation time against the Jets. The Browns earned an overtime period, but they couldn’t get the few extra first downs they needed to kick a winning field goal. Still, after handling the Saints and Pats, this is certainly a team that can knock off Jacksonville.

Why To Bet On The Jaguars
Coach Jack Del Rio’s club is on the sunshine side of the .500 mark after nine games, and that’s pretty reasonable for a team that’s in the same division as the Indianapolis Colts, the playoff-hungry Houston Texans, and a Tennessee Titan team that had the best record in the AFC two seasons ago. Jacksonville did need luck to beat Houston last week, but it’s worth remembering that the Jaguars did not trail Houston at the time of their incredible game-winning Hail Mary touchdown pass on the final play from scrimmage. The contest with the Texans was tied at 24, so it’s not as though the Jags avoided a loss.

The key for the Jaguars’ two-game winning streak, which followed a two-game skid, is that veteran quarterback David Garrard is healthy. The Jaguars don’t have a viable backup at quarterback, and they lost two October games precisely because Garrard was injured. When Garrard returned, though, the wins did as well. Two and a half weeks ago at the Dallas Cowboys, and then this past Sunday against Houston. If Garrard remains healthy throughout this game, Jacksonville will have the better quarterback and a good chance to win.

How The Game Will Play Out
McCoy is becoming a special leader for the Browns, but he still has a lot to learn. Cleveland is a limited team, and since Jacksonville has a solid veteran quarterback at the controls, it’s reasonable to think that the Jaguars are the ones who will make the better second-half adjustments. Take Jacksonville at home.

Browns Jaguars Betting Pick: Jaguars