Jets vs Browns Hall of Fame Game Picks and Predictions: Wilson, Streveler Have Jets Flying High

Though Aaron Rodgers won't be under center, the Jets — particularly Zach Wilson and Chris Streveler — are likely motivated to show what they can do in the Hall of Fame Game against the Browns. Our NFL betting picks provide more.

Jason Logan: Senior Betting Analyst at Covers
Jason Logan • Senior Betting Analyst
Aug 3, 2023 • 05:11 ET • 4 min read
Zach Wilson New York Jets NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets and Cleveland Browns have a lot to prove this upcoming NFL season. Whether or not they choose the Hall of Fame Game to be the first step in that process remains to be seen.

Football bettors get their first taste of NFL action (sort of) with the preseason kickoff tonight, when New York and Cleveland clash in Canton, Ohio.

Don’t expect to see many stars or standouts for either side, which means handicapping this exhibition opener takes some finesse. It also takes discipline and patience. Just because this is the first whiff of NFL odds wagering since the Super Bowl doesn't mean you should go big with your bets.

I break down the point spread and Over/Under for the NFL Hall of Fame Game and give my best NFL picks and predictions for Jets vs. Browns on August 3.

Jets vs Browns odds

Jets vs Browns predictions

Betting NFL preseason games is really all about three things: Quarterback rotations, starter involvement, and coaching motivation.

When it comes to Thursday’s Hall of Fame Game matchup between the Jets and Browns, you can throw the latter two aspects in the trash. The starters aren’t expected to be in action, and it sounds like both Robert Saleh and Kevin Stefanski have no added push to pick up this meaningless win.

As for the quarterbacks, New York’s decision to give Zach Wilson some run on Thursday is the reason the Jets have jumped from slight underdogs to slight favorites. Along with that, the Browns will stick to their No. 3 and No. 4 passers with both Deshaun Watson and second-stringer Joshua Dobbs shelved.

Wilson will likely play a handful of snaps in the first quarter in what will be a dumbed-down shell of a game plan from new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. He already told the press his preseason playbook will be very vanilla.

That puts emphasis on the Jets’ third and fourth stringers to make good on this market move toward Gang Green. And if you’ve ever bet on the Hall of Fame Game (and we all have, let’s admit it), you know strange things are afoot in the final two quarters.

Over the previous 10 Hall of Fame Games, there has been an average of 29.3 points scored. Just over 13 of those points came in the second half (45.7% of scoring), but 8.6 average points were scored in the final 15 minutes (29.35%). And given the standard short preseason spread, those HOF Game bets are won and lost in that fourth quarter.

That brings us to New York fourth-stringer Chris Streveler. He’ll hold the fate of your wagers in his hands Thursday night.

Streveler was a golden god for the Jets in the 2022 preseason, helping lead New York to a perfect 3-0 SU and ATS record in those tune-up tilts. He finished the exhibition slate with five passing touchdowns and 277 yards on 24-of-33 passing with one interception. What’s more important is the former CFLer’s ability to make plays with his legs, collecting 71 rushing yards on nine attempts in the 2022 preseason.

The preseason prior, the former South Dakota Jackrabbit finished with 181 yards passing (17-for-30) with one TD and 59 yards rushing on 12 carries in two exhibition outings for the Arizona Cardinals.

Streveler’s ability to just “play ball” fits what Hackett forecasts for his offense on Thursday: a simple framework to create within. Streveler can improvise and make something from nothing when those play calls break down — and they will with the bottom-tier talents working off the rust in the first full game of the summer.

Betting the preseason odds isn’t always about who’s starting in the first quarter or first half. It can also be about who’s out there in those chaotic final frames.

Pick:  Jets -1.5 (-110 at Caesars)

Not intended for use in MA.
Affiliate Disclosure: Covers may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook or betting site

Best Jets vs Browns bonuses

Looking to bet on some NFL action? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:

A) Place a bet (min. $50) on the Hall of Fame game at BetRivers and get $5 in bonus bets for every TD scored! Bet Now

B) New users: Get up to $1,250 in bonus bets if your first bet doesn’t win at Caesars! Sign Up Now

*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Jets vs Browns spread and Over/Under analysis

Preseason NFL games usually open with the same spread sets. Most games will hit the board within a field goal, and as news and info comes out on team plans and player rotations, the markets move quickly.

The Hall of Fame Game spread opened with Cleveland as a 1.5-point favorite earlier in the summer and was bet up to as high as -2.5.

That line has since jumped the fence all the way to New York -1.5 and as high as -2 as of Wednesday morning, with the Jets announcing that Wilson will get reps Thursday night. While no New York starters — including Aaron Rodgers — are taking the field in Canton, head coach Robert Saleh said a select group of veterans will play.

That decision to play Wilson — for however long — has given the Jets the upper hand in the eyes of the betting market. Behind Wilson on the depth chart is fifth-year QB Tim Boyle and Streveler.

The Browns will sit Watson and will start Kellen Mond, who is actually the third QB down the depth chart behind Watson and Dobbs, who will also sit out Thursday. That leaves Cleveland in the hands of Mond and rookie passer Dorian Thompson-Robinson out of UCLA.

As for the Over/Under total, it opened at 34 points and has since slimmed to 33.5 at most books.

Not only are both teams rolling out second, third, and fourth-team talents, but neither side will be diving too deep into their playbooks.

"I think anytime you look at preseason for us, you obviously never want to show anything specific," New York offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett told reporters. "You don’t want to just go out there and kind of put everything out there. We want to give the guys that are going go out there an opportunity to play. We want to keep it simple."

Since 2010, there have been 10 Hall of Fame Games played and just four of those have seen more than 30 points scored, including last summer’s 27-11 finish between Las Vegas and Jacksonville.

The weather in Canton is expected to be partly cloudy with “feels like” temperatures around 91 degrees for the 8 p.m. ET kickoff. That will cool as the game goes on, and winds will top out at six mph.

Jets vs Browns betting trend to know

Since taking over as the New York Jets head coach, Robert Saleh is a perfect 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in preseason games. Find more NFL betting trends for Jets vs. Browns.

Jets vs Browns game info

Location: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, OH
Date: Thursday, August 3, 2023
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. ET
Opening odds: Browns -1.5, 34

Jets vs Browns latest injuries

Jets vs Browns weather

Monitor gametime conditions with our live NFL weather info and learn how weather impacts NFL betting.

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo