Sunday’s matchup between the Browns and the Raiders will mark the first official start for Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield. He will be tested by an underachieving Raiders team in a hostile environment. Oakland is looking to get their first win of the season and hope that their rabid fans can provide the advantage that they need. Kickoff inside Oakland Alameda Coliseum is at 4 PM ET.
|Betting Data History||Cleveland Browns||Oakland Raiders|
|2018 Home record||1-0-1||0-1|
|2018 Away record||0-1||0-2|
|2018 ATS Home||2-0||0-1|
|2018 ATS Away||1-0||1-1|
|2018 O/U Home||1-1||0-1|
|2018 O/U Away||0-1||1-1|
Since 1970, these two teams have played against each other a total of 24 times. The Raiders hold the series advantage with a 14-10 record. This weekend’s matchup will be in Oakland, where the Raiders have gone 3-2 against the Browns in their last 5 meetings there.
Cleveland (1-1-1) won their first game last week against the Jets, which ended a winless streak of 19 games. Additionally, the Browns turned the reigns over to rookie QB Baker Mayfield who had an exciting performance after coming in for Tyrod Taylor in the 2nd quarter. Will Mayfield take another step forward or will he struggle in the black hole on Sunday?
Oakland (0-3) has reached panic mode on the season. They’ve been outscored by an average of 27 ppg to 17.3 ppg and seem helpless in the second halves each week. For example, Raiders gave up 23 points to the Rams in Week 1. In Week 2, they allowed the Broncos to come back and win the game in the fourth quarter. If the Raiders can get out to a lead in this game, will they be able to hold off the Browns in the second half?
Most online sportsbooks opened with the Raiders favored by 2.5 points. Currently, these betting sites have the Raiders listed as 3 point favorites. The Over/Under opened at 44.5 points with many online sites, but the majority of them have bumped that number up to 45 total points as of this article.
This game is challenging to pick a winner on the surface. However, after digging into some of the numbers, there is one betting option that I really like – Under 45 total points.
For the season, Cleveland is averaging 20 ppg and only giving up 19.7 ppg. The Raiders are averaging 17.3 ppg and giving up 27 ppg. However, if you remove the Rams score of 33, then the Raiders are allowing only 24 ppg. Adding them up, and the two teams average a scoring total of 37.3 ppg. Furthermore, the defenses give up a total of 46.3 ppg or 43.7 ppg if you don’t count the Rams. In the last 10 head-to-head meeting, these two teams have combined to average 37 ppg.
The Browns offense has more balance than the Raiders offense, but it’s hard to predict how much success it will have as Mayfield is playing the first road game of his career. Additionally, Cleveland hasn’t exactly lit up the scoreboard this season as 21 points is their highest game total on the year. Mayfield didn’t throw any TD passes against the Jets, but he will have a better chance this weekend as the Raiders give up 265.3 passing ypg.
Mayfield’s counterpart Derek Carr is averaging 312 ypg, but he already has 5 picks on the season compared to just 2 TD passes. The Raiders running game has been non-existent for the most part as the team averages just 98.7 rushing ypg. Cleveland only allows 109.3 rushing ypg and 249 passing ypg.
At first, I wanted to go with the Raiders moneyline because of the Browns going 1-12 SU against teams with winning records, 1-31 SU as an underdog, and 0-17 SU in road games. However, the Raiders really haven’t been much better as they’ve gone 1-5 SU after losing 2 or more games, 0-5 SU in their last 5 overall games, 3-6 SU in their last 9 against Cleveland. Despite the lower moneyline on a home team, it’s too risky to take the Raiders at -145.
As for the two teams and their records against the spread, it’s about as abysmal as the SU numbers. Oakland is 4-11-2 ATS in their last 17 games, 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 home games, 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 against Cleveland, 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against the Browns. Cleveland is 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 road games, 3-10 ATS in their last 13 against teams with a losing record, 9-23 ATS as an underdog, and 9-19 ATS in their last 28 grass games.
Once again, this just furthers my case for taking the Under in this matchup. For the Browns, the Under is 4-2 in their last 6 games and 4-1 in the last 5 games against Oakland. For the Raiders, the Under is 9-1 in their last 10 games and 5-0 in their last 5 home games.
I believe this game will be a low scoring game as both defenses will play well enough to slow down the opposing offenses. In the end, I think Oakland will pull it out. However, we don’t have to worry about that. All we need to focus on is that the game stays Under 45 total points as we take the reasonable line of -118.
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