When the Giants (5-8) host the Browns (9-4) on “Sunday Night Football” in the penultimate game of NFL Week 15 (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), it will be a battle of two teams trying to improve their respective playoff positions.
The Giants will be hoping to either get back into first place in the NFC East or keep pace with Washington. The Browns, after losing a Monday night heartbreaker to the Ravens in Week 14, need to rebound in their quest for an AFC wild-card berth.
The Giants will be without starting quarterback Daniel Jones, turning to former Brown Colt McCoy for the second time in three weeks. The Browns won’t have former Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. trying to exact revenge. The Giants will have former Browns coach Freddie Kitchens calling the offensive plays, filling in for Jason Garrett.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Giants vs. Browns in Week 15, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for “Sunday Night Football.”
Giants vs. Browns odds
- Spread: Browns by 6.5
- Over/under: 44.5
- Moneyline: Browns -278, Giants +240
The Giants have been solid underdogs all week and the number tilted toward the Browns when it was apparent McCoy would get the nod over an injured Jones. The Giants lost a rough home game to the Cardinals last week and go in without one of their best defensive players, cornerback James Bradberry.
Giants vs. Browns all-time series
The Browns lead the rivalry 27-22-2. The Giants have won the last two meetings in 2012 and 2016 and six of the past seven. The first meetings happened 70 years ago in 1950.
Three trends to know
— 54 percent of bettors are with the Browns to rebound and cover the spread despite the sizable number in their favor on the road.
— The Browns are 9-4 straight up this season but are only 5-8 against the spread. Their games have gone over eight times.
— The Giants are 5-8 straight up this season but are only 8-5 against the spread. Their games have gone over only three times.
Three things to watch
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt
The Browns got their dynamic backfield duo back on track to rip through the Ravens in defeat in Week 14. Chubb has been dominating in the power running game, while Hunt has been a strong change of pace with his receiving prowess. They will be a real test to a good Giants’ front four and linebacker corps.
Baker Mayfield vs. Giants’ pass defense
Mayfield is on fire after lighting up the Titans and Ravens. He has been helped by some good weather and great threats from his backs. He’s locked into his two veteran wide receivers, Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins, liberated without Beckham. The Giants’ not having Bradberry and Darnay Holmes makes their secondary thin.
McCoy the playmaker
McCoy will need to get the Giants’ top receivers, Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard, going with Evan Engram and Kaden Smith banged up at tight end. The Browns also should rebound and limit the rushing success of Wayne Gallman. “Game managing” won’t work in this one, for either him or Mayfield.
Stat that matters
101.5. That’s how many average rushing yards per game the Giants give up, good for the No. 7 rushing defense in the NFL. They will need to focus slowing down Chubb and Hunt, because that also puts pressure on Mayfield. The Giants were able to win with McCoy in Week 13 at Seattle because of their swarming front.
Giants vs. Browns prediction
The Browns are coming off a short week and emotional defeat. They will grind here with their physical best offensively and also contain McCoy and the Giants’ running game. It’s not the prettiest game outdoors in December, but the Browns survive as the better overall team.
Browns 23, Giants 20