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|Las Vegas Raiders||+2.5
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The Browns are on a roll and need a win against a team like the Raiders to solidify their reputation as playoff-worthy and they should neutralize the Raiders run game, cover the narrow spread and get the win.
Browns -2.5 (-110)
|Raiders vs Browns Information|
|What||Las Vegas Raiders vs Cleveland Browns|
|Where||FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH|
|When||Sun, November 1, 2020; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
The 3-3 Las Vegas Raiders are coming off a Week 7 blowout loss to the Bucs (final score 20-45) and now their 26th ranked defense must take on the Browns, who have a better record (5-2) but whose offense only scores a point more than the Raiders per game.
The Cleveland Browns are one of the top rushing franchises in the league with the fifth-best defense against the run, and they come off a Week 7 win and a career performance by quarterback Baker Mayfield, who some were questioning as the franchise’s long term solution at quarterback.
These two teams have played each other 25 times before (including 2 postseason games), with the Cleveland Browns winning 10 of those games and the Las Vegas Raiders winning 15 of those games.
The Las Vegas Raiders defensive line had zero sacks in their Week 7 blowout loss to Tampa Bay, plus they only had one hit on the opposing quarterback just three passes defended.
They are going to have to do better than that against Brown’s third-ranked rushing attack and a passing game that is only now just starting to settle in.
Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby already has four sacks on the season, so he the other DE Clelin Ferrell could help the Week 8 Las Vegas caused by putting some pressure on Baker Mayfield while he’s in the pocket.
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After failing to complete his first five passes in Week 7 against the weaker Bengals team, Browns QB Baker Mayfield had himself a heck of a game, completing 22 passes for almost 300 yards and 5 touchdowns with just a single pick on the afternoon.
With a passer rating of 135.6, Mayfield had the type of game that shuts up naysayers, and against the Raiders 7th worst defense in the league, it could be the perfect chance for him and his receivers to have another productive outing.
The Browns’ run game isn’t the same without running back Nick Chubb in the lineup – he is still on IR with a knee / MCL issue – but his backfield buddy Kareem Hunt is getting the job done, so far with 101 rushes on the season for 463 yards and 3 TDs along with 16 catches for 106 yards and 4 more touchdowns.
The Raiders got blown out in Week 7, and what did not help their cause was a poor play by RB Josh Jacobs, who had ten carries for just 17 yards and no touchdowns, averaging a weak 1.7 yards per carry, his typical average for the season at the 3.4 mark.
Jacobs posted 1,150 rushing yards in his rookie campaign last season with 7 touchdowns, and with the 5 TDs he’s already scored this season (3 in Week 1, 2 in Week 5), he is well on his way to at least topping that stat.
But to beat the Browns, who are ranked fifth in the league against the run right now, it would help to get some decent production out of Jacobs since the threat of him running gives QB Derek Carr a lot more options against a Browns passing defense that’s third-worst in the league.
So far in 2020, Browns WR Jarvis Landry has posted 29 catches for 367 yards but no touchdowns, after putting 6 TDs on the scoreboard last season and getting expectations risen as a result.
Now that Odell Beckham is out for the season with a torn ACL in his knee, Landry will be the main target for QB Baker Mayfield to target, which the Raiders will know and do their best to neutralize him with double coverage from the safeties.
If the defense favors Landry, then that leaves WR Rashard Higgins and tight ends Austin Hooper and David Njoku freer to roam in the single coverage that results, which makes it easier for them to find an open spot on the field to plant and make a catch.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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