Browns vs. Jets Odds: Cleveland Home Favorite for 1st Time Since 2015

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2018

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 16: Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Cleveland Browns throws the ball during the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints  at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 16, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

For the first time in nearly three years, the Cleveland Browns will be the favorites at home when they face the New York Jets on Thursday night, according to OddsShark:

Frankly, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Browns are favored in the matchup. The team has played well to start the season and, were it not for kicker Zane Gonzalez missing three field goals and two extra points to start the season, could be sitting on a 2-0 record this year instead of their current 0-1-1 mark. 

While Gonzalez can't be solely blamed for the team's lack of a victory to start the season, he left eight points on the board in Sunday's 21-18 loss against the New Orleans Saints after missing two field goals—including a game-tying attempt at the end of regulation that would have sent the game to overtime—and two extra points.

"It's on me 100 percent," Gonzalez said after the Saints loss, per ESPN.com. "I can't be too mad at myself because I'm the one that did it, you know what I mean? I can't blame it on [anybody] else. It sucks because we were so close to that win, and it's been so long. I just let everybody down."

The Browns are set to sign Greg Joseph to replace Gonzalez, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com and Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com.

And so the team's elusive first win since Dec. 2016 may be on the horizon. The Browns are now, incredibly, just 4-45-1 since the beginning of the 2015 season, but a date with a young New York Jets team, led by rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, could finally end their 19-game winless streak.  

The schedule-makers didn't do the Browns any favors to start the season, with tough matchups against playoff teams from last year in the Steelers and Saints. But the Browns showed great promise, battling both squads and coming extremely close to winning both games. 

The Browns, in other words, are close to putting it all together.

"Our players, as I told them afterwards, 'There's a good team in that (locker) room,'" head coach Hue Jackson told reporters after the Saints loss, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. "There's no doubt in my mind about that. We've just got to make sure that we are doing the right things all of the time to give us a chance to win."

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