COVID-19 Update: This game has been postponed until 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, December 20, due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Las Vegas Raiders will hit the road in Week 15 to take on the Cleveland Browns in a game with playoff implications abound.
The Raiders (6-7) have seen a significant downturn the past few weeks that was capped off on Monday in a 48-9 blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Las Vegas has only won one of their last six games, and that singular game was a narrow overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys last month.
The Browns (7-6) have also seen a decline since starting off the season hot. They have practically been trading off wins and losses the past six weeks and will look to work to secure a playoff spot in a relatively easy Week 15 matchup against the Raiders.
All NFL gameday odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and current as of 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 18.
Raiders vs Browns Prediction
Initially, this looked like a great opportunity for the Cleveland Browns to cement themselves in the AFC playoff picture due to a shorthanded Raiders roster heading into Week 15. However, the circumstances have changed over the past week with COVID-19 running rampant throughout the NFL.
As of now, the Browns will be without head coach Kevin Stefanski and a plethora of their top players. Both starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and backup Case Keenum are in health and safety protocols at the moment with running back Kareem Hunt and wide receiver Jarvis Landry also expected to miss Monday’s delayed game.
Nick Mullens is expected to start at quarterback for the Browns so a rush-heavy offensive scheme is in store for Cleveland in Week 15.
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On the defensive side, the Browns will also be without safety Grant Delpit and corners AJ Green and Troy Hill amongst others. This will be an obvious issue for Cleveland and will be tough to overcome.
Cleveland has looked a lot better than the Raiders as of late - outside of a blowout loss to the New England Patriots - and the Raiders are only averaging 16.8 points per game across their last five. However, with the roster changes and COVID-19 effects, this is moot.
With the Raiders in relatively good health and the Browns looking to pull off an unexpected victory, this might be an uphill battle for Cleveland.
Prediction: Raiders 20, Browns 14
Raiders vs Browns Best Bets
Best Bet: Raiders +3 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1.5 Units
This game is extremely hard to gauge given the amount of moving parts involved, but I’m backing the Raiders here. I don’t fully understand how they can be seen as an underdog in this fight given that the Browns are basically trotting out a B-team roster.
I would not blame you whatsoever if you wanted to take the moneyline here instead of the points as I think both hit. I’m going to play it safe and back the Raiders ATS with health on their side.
Best Bet: Under 40.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
This total of 40.5 is extremely low for NFL betting and while it’s tough to back an under at this number, I’m going to do it anyway. The Browns are capable of putting together a high-octane offensive performance at any time, but with Nick Mullens in line to be the signal caller in this game for Cleveland, that changes.
I expect a heavy dose of rushing from Nick Chubb, slowing down the game and in essence, keeping the Browns in field goal range more often than in the red zone.
The Raiders can take advantage of a battered Browns defense as well, but I’m still expecting this game to go under by a score or so.
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