The Cleveland Browns are home favorites for the first time since Week 14 of the 2015 season as they host the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. Will Bernanke, the lead analyst at CG Analytics in Las Vegas, provided some insight to theScore as to how bettors are approaching the game leading up to kickoff.
Open: CLE -3 (point spread) / 39 (O/U)
Current: CLE -3 (point spread) / 40.5 (O/U)
After snapping their 1,011-day home underdog streak, the Browns are now looking to finally fill the win column Thursday. The franchise hasn't won a game since Week 16 of the 2016 season and owns a horrendous 1-32-1 record under head coach Hue Jackson, who has led the Browns to a 9-24-1 clip against the spread in two-plus seasons.
The wins aren't pouring in yet but there's room for hope. Cleveland is 0-1-1 on the season and could very well be 2-0. The Browns had to settle for a tie in the opener against Pittsburgh as five-point underdogs, then crumbled down the stretch in New Orleans, losing by three but covering the 10-point spread.
Standing in the way of Cleveland's first win will be the New York Jets, led by rookie Sam Darnold. The youngest starting quarterback in the Super Bowl era got the season - and his NFL career - off to a hot start with a 48-17 road win over the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football. The Miami Dolphins put a stop to that momentum, handing the Jets a 20-12 home loss last Sunday.
Cleveland's track record of losing games both outright and against the spread hasn't shied bettors away from the Browns in Week 3, at least when it comes to hitting the moneyline.
Per Bernanke, 60 percent of the point spread money as of Thursday afternoon was on the Jets, but 71 percent of the moneyline handle was comprised of Browns money. Bettors pushed the total up from 39 to 40.5, with 68 percent of all dollars at the time on the over.
As of 2 p.m. ET, the book was looking for the game to go one of two ways, and will ultimately hope for the points to be at a premium.
"Ideal result would be either the Browns covering the spread or Jets winning outright, with a low-scoring game," Bernanke said.