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NFL Game Preview: Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns

Dec 20, 2021

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Game: Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns  

Time: 5:00 p.m. ET 

Odds: Raiders +3, Browns -3 

Total: 41 

If the Cleveland Browns are anything, they are inconsistent. It’s been a while – over two months to be exact – since Cleveland has won two consecutive games. This could be the week, but the Raiders have won the last three against the Browns. That includes a 16-6 win just last season. 

The Raiders (6-7) started the 2021 season 5-1, but they look nothing like that team right now. Las Vegas has lost five of their last six games. The only win was an upset of Dallas on Thanksgiving Day and the Raiders had to go to overtime to get it. The victory over the Cowboys was the only cover for the Raiders in that six-game span. 

Las Vegas has some serious issues on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the Raiders have given up 32 or more points in four of their last five games. You don’t win many games when your defense does that. You definitely don’t win games doing that when your offense only puts up 17 or fewer points in five of six games. The Raiders’ lone bright spot is WR Hunter Renfroe who has three straight games with at least eight receptions and at least 100 yards. 

The Browns have been keeping games close. Their last three games have all been decided by six points or less. Last week, it was a 24-22 win over AFC North Division rival Baltimore. That win kept the Browns’ slim playoff hopes alive. Cleveland almost blew it though. The Browns have not played well late in games.  

Cleveland led 24-3 but didn’t score a single point in the second half as the Ravens ran off 19 unanswered points. The Browns have managed to score just seven points in the fourth quarter in their last eight games combined. Cleveland has had its share of scoring troubles this season. The Browns haven’t scored more than 24 points in six of their last seven games.  

The Browns’ offensive woes could continue if they don’t get RB Kareem Hunt back for tonight’s game. Hunt injured an ankle last week against Baltimore. They will also continue if kicker Chase McLaughlin doesn’t figure out how to make field goals. He has missed five in Cleveland’s last seven games. 

Tonight’s game could come down to how successful the Browns fourth-ranked running game does against the Raiders run defense which ranks 26th in the league. Cleveland averages nearly 144 rushing yards per game and the Raiders give up over 125. 

Neither team has been covering spreads lately. Both the Browns and Raiders are 1-5 ATS in their last six games. The Raiders are just 3-6 ATS in their last nine road games. Cleveland is just 2-7 ATS in its last nine home games.  

The teams trend in opposite directions when it comes to game totals. The total has gone Over in 12 of the Raiders’ last 18 games. The Under is 5-2 in the last seven Browns-Raiders games and 4-1 in the last five such games played in Cleveland.