According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Browns are 3 point favorites against the Raiders on Monday. Here is what the national media is saying about the Week 15 game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Cleveland Browns:
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Browns 23, Raiders 22
The Browns are decimated by COVID-19 as they head to this game, with a lot of key players on offense possibly out for this one. That will challenge Kevin Stefanski. The Raiders haven’t played well as of late, but with all the players missing for the Browns, look for the Raiders to hang around and keep it close.
Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer) - Browns 24, Raiders 14
The Raiders are in freefall as Derek Carr is playing poorly in a limited passing game. They also can’t run the ball consistently and their run defense has gone into the tank. The Browns will take full advantage of all those convenient weaknesses that play into their strengths of the rushing attack and trough pressure D backed by a deep secondary.
NFL.com (Gregg Rosenthal) - Raiders 20, Browns 17
The Browns placed double-digit players on the reserve/COVID-19 list in the last two days, including Baker Mayfield, and coach Kevin Stefanski has tested positive, too. It’s not just the amount of players that stands out, but the quality of their contributions. I counted eight starters, including two of their best offensive linemen, two of their leading receivers and two of their starters in the secondary. The Raiders are in a free fall, the Browns should still apply pressure to Derek Carr, and I don’t think the change to Case Keenum at quarterback is a downgrade. It’s not like this should be a blowout.
Still, I was leaning toward the Raiders covering in this game when the line started at 5.5 before the COVID-19 news because the Browns’ offense is so sluggish. I’ll now take the Raiders to win outright, understanding no one knows anything.
UPDATE: Even with Nick Mullens in line to start in place of Case Keenum, who tested positive for COVID-19, the Raiders’ offense will likely struggle to score Sunday. I think the Browns have just enough players left — barring any further COVID positive tests — to keep this game close (Original pick: Raiders 21, Browns 20). All betting lines are current as of 6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Below are our Week 15 NFL staff picks: