Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns Matchup Preview (12/20/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns Matchup Preview (12/20/21)

The 6-7 Las Vegas Raiders goes to Cleveland to play the 7-6 Browns in week 15.  The Raiders are coming off an embarrassing 48-9 loss to the Chiefs in week 14.  Las Vegas has lost five of their last six games since their bye week; they started the season 5-2.  Cleveland is coming off a hard fought 24-22 victory over their division rival Baltimore Ravens in week 14 despite not scoring a point in the second half.  The Browns have won three of their last five games.  

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Odds

Cleveland is a 1.5-point home favorite over Las Vegas.  The Raiders are 5-8 against the spread this season; 3-3 on the road.  Las Vegas is 0-3-1 against the spread in their last four games in Week 15.  Cleveland is 0-4 against the spread in their last four games overall.  The Raiders are averaging 22.5 points per game on the road and Cleveland is averaging 19.3 points per game at home this season. 

Due to COVID-19 precautions the Browns are operating virtually this week.  Head Coach Kevin Stefanski and seven players (nine in total) from the active roster have entered enhanced COVID-19 protocols.  How that will impact the team will not be known until Saturday.  

My Prediction: Based on the health of both teams, I’m taking the Raiders at +1.5 to win on the road 21-16 and with the under of 39 points.

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TV Schedule

Date: 12/19/21
Time: 6:00 PM ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium – Cleveland, OH
TV Coverage: NFL Network

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns Live Stream

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Las Vegas Raiders Analysis

The Raiders offense is averaging 372.5 total yards of offense, ranking them 10th in the NFL.  Scoring 21.8 points per game, they rank 18th in the league.

Quarterback Derek Carr is second in the league in passing with 3,926 yards.  He has also tossed 18 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and completed 68.3% of his passes in 2021.  In the week 14 loss at Kansas City, the eighth-year signal caller threw for 263 yards, one touchdown, one interception and completed 73.3% of his passes.  Before his second quarter interception against the Chiefs, Carr hadn’t thrown an interception in his previous three games.  When he has at least one giveaway in a game he’s 3-6 this season, 3-1 without a giveaway in 2021.  Per, the Raiders field general is one of two quarterbacks to have completed at least 60% of his passes in each of their team’s games this season.

Hunter Renfrow is one of the most dependable receivers in the NFL.  In 2021, he leads the Raiders in all receiving categories; 86 catches for 877 yards and a career-high five touchdowns.  The third-year pro has at least 100 receiving yards in three straight games, tied for the longest streak among wide receivers in Raiders history.

Star tight end Darren Waller who has missed the last two games due to a knee injury suffered on Thanksgiving is not expected to play on Saturday against the Browns.  One of the Raiders main offensive weapons, the sixth-year pro has 53 catches for 643 yards and two touchdowns: averaging 64.3 receiving yards per game.

The Raiders defense is allowing 356.6 yards per game this season ranking them 20th in the NFL.  They’re allowing 27.7 points per game, ranking them 31st in the league.  Las Vegas has allowed 30 plus points in four of their last five games: 0 times in their first eight games this season.

Yannick Ngakoue has nine sacks in his last nine games; additionally, he has six tackles for loss and 17 quarterback hits this season.  His biggest misstep last week was gathering the team on the Chiefs logo during pregame warmups, which seems to have motivated Kansas City instead of Las Vegas.  

Las Vegas Raiders Depth Chart

QB: Derek Carr
RB1: Josh Jacobs
RB2: Kenyan Drake
WR1: Hunter Renfrow
WR2: Bryan Edwards
WR3: DeSean Jackson
TE1: Darren Waller
TE2: Foster Moreau

Cleveland Browns Analysis

The Browns offense is averaging 349.2 yards of total offense per game, ranking them 16th in the NFL.  They’re scoring 21.4 points per game which ranks them 19th in the league.  

In week 14 against the Ravens, Baker Mayfield completed 68.8% of his passes for 190 yards, two touchdowns with a 91.9 passer rating. On the season, Mayfield has been inconsistent, throwing for 2,603 yards, 13 touchdowns, seven interceptions with a 62.8 completion percentage. At times the fourth-year quarterback looks overwhelmed, panics in the pocket and overthrows receivers. The former number one overall pick in 2018 currently ranks 26th in the NFL with a 39.1 QBR.  On Wednesday morning, it was announced Mayfield tested positive for COVID-19. Case Keenum who was scheduled to start in Mayfield’s place tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning. Nick Mullens will be the next man up for Cleveland. He has a 5-11 record, starting 16 games for the San Francisco 49ers from 2018-20. In his career he has thrown 25 touchdown passes and averaged 248.1 yards per game.

The Browns rushing attack is fourth in the NFL, averaging 143.5 yards per game.  Nick Chubb is fifth in the league in rushing with 926 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.  He’s also scored six touchdowns on the ground this season.  In the week 14 victory over the Ravens, he had 59 yards on 17 carries.  The fourth-year pro from Georgia has rushed for over 100 yards four times in 2021.  In his career he has rushed for 4,438 yards on 847 carries and 34 touchdowns.  Kareem Hunt suffered an ankle injury vs. Baltimore and is not expected to play against Las Vegas.  On the season, Hunt has 386 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

The supremely talented Browns defense is allowing 321.2 yards per game this season ranking them fourth in the NFL.  They’re allowing 22.2 points per game, ranking them 14th in the league.

Cleveland has 35 sacks as a team in 2021.  Myles Garrett has 15 sacks in 13 games this season which is second in the NFL.  He also has 15 tackles for loss and 28 quarterback hits in 2021.  Garrett is currently +300 to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Cleveland Browns Depth Chart

QB: Baker Mayfield
RB1: Nick Chubb
RB2: D’Ernest Johnson
WR1: Rashard Higgins
WR2: Donovan Peoples-Jones
WR3: Jarvis Landry
TE1: Austin Hooper

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns Daily Fantasy Picks

Las Vegas kicker Daniel Carlson who recently signed a four-year contract extension has been one of the Raiders most reliable players this season.  In 2021, he has made 28 field goals and has made 23 out of 26 extra points, totaling 107 points.  As I’ve said many times, kickers can win you games, but lose them for you as well.

Battling a groin injury that has hampered his season, Donovan Peoples-Jones is a player, I’d look to pick up if I were in a keeper league.  Since he set foot on the Michigan campus in 2017, he’s a player I’ve followed and think he can be a top receiver in the NFL.   With the status of Jarvis Landry clouded for next season, Peoples-Jones could be the main target of Browns quarterbacks in 2022.  In 10 games this season, he has 23 receptions for 430 yards and three touchdowns: he’s averaging 18.7 yards a reception.  

Scott has been a sports fan since he received a New York Mets jacket as a toddler. He’s been playing fantasy baseball and football for over 20 years, dating back to Frank Thomas being one of his first fantasy baseball picks. As a professional, he has covered the NFL, MLB, NCAAF, and NCAAB and is looked to as the go-to guy for fantasy sports amongst family, friends, and co-workers.

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