Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/18/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
Where to watch: NFL Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Browns -3
BetMGM: Browns -3
Caesars: Browns -3

Season record
Raiders: 6-7
Browns: 7-6

A strong 6-2 week for Sean Murphy in this past Sunday’s slate of games. With two Saturday games and more on the horizon, what can this crucial week hold as we enter the final month of the regular season? Catch Murph’s plays, available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Raiders - Browns preview and analysis


Last week
Raiders: lost 48-9 at Chiefs
Browns: won 24-22 vs. Ravens

The sky is now falling for the Las Vegas Raiders.

If you’re a firm believer in week-to-week momentum carrying, then go all-in on the Cleveland Browns this Saturday. Because the Raiders are cooked.

Neither team is out of the woods yet, but we’ll start with the winners of last week. The Browns are coming off a near-collapse at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, but won 24-22 to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Baker Mayfield threw for only 190 yards and two touchdowns to only one interception, continuing a stretch where he’s thrown for less than 200 yards in three out of his last four games and continues to lead an offense so lackluster that not even the stout running game of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt can help with.

But it was the defense that came to Cleveland’s rescue this week led by league sack leader Myles Garrett, pulling off the strip-sack-for-touchdown combo. His 15th sack led the way for the Browns in what was a must-win game.

"That's the type of player Myles is," said cornerback Denzel Ward, who made a tackle to stop Baltimore's final drive. "He's a leader for our team. That's what he's got to do. He challenged everybody. Even though he challenged us, Myles, he's going to come in and back it up, though, as well.”

It helped that the Ravens didn’t have Lamar Jackson for the Browns to win that home-and-home matchup. Despite the win, there has yet to be a wave of consistency for the Browns this season, especially in the books. Cleveland has alternated wins and losses in its last eight games and has failed to cover in five of its last six.

In terms of the playoffs, the Browns are part of the giant cluster that is fighting for the final two wild-card spots in the AFC. It’s a 5-way tie, but the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts hold the tiebreakers. The Browns are still in the hunt for the AFC North, but would’ve gotten a lot more help had the Cincinnati Bengals not lost to the San Francisco 49ers last week.

In any event, the Browns are in good shape heading into this week due to the sheer ineptitude that has fallen upon the Raiders in recent weeks. The Raiders have lost five of six – the only win coming against a banged-up Dallas Cowboys team on a short week – and are coming off a 48-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium.

Derek Carr threw 45 times for just 263 yards and a touchdown, while the offense only totaled 290 yards. Josh Jacobs ran for only 24 on nine carries, one of them being a fumble on the first play of the game that was returned for a touchdown.

Take out the Cowboys game from this equation: The Raiders have been held under 20 points in each of their losses and have allowed at least 30 on three occasions.

"I don't have a lot of words for it," Raiders coach Rich Bissacia said. "It started with a fumble the first play of the game. As it went on, we missed more and more tackles. We had more dropped passes. Penalties on defense, gave up explosive plays. Struggled to protect the quarterback. Struggled to run the football. And on top of that, missed a PAT."

Keep in mind the Raiders were 5-2 heading into their bye week and have not come out of it well since. It’s going to be another late-season collapse for the Raiders with no real fun lining in sight. This offseason is going to hold a lot of questions for them.

Prediction


There are a lot of COVID concerns with the Browns; at least eight players have landed on that list, including Jarvis Landry. But if this comes down to a game of defense, which it should in Cleveland in December, the Browns are the surefire pick for Saturday. Keep an eye on how that line progresses but if it stays at 3, that’s a win for Cleveland. Browns by 10

Betting trends


The Raiders are 11-14 ATS off an over the previous week.

The Raiders are 1-5 ATS off a loss to a division rival in their last six.

The Browns are 8-11 ATS in their last 19 as a home favorite.

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert football picks today. And if you enjoyed this Las Vegas Raiders - Cleveland Browns prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NFL projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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