Oakland Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 6 NFL Pick: Cleveland Browns +7.5 (October 16th 2011)
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In what was considered a very inspired effort last week in Houston, the Raiders won for owner Al Davis who passed away the day before. Not to take anything away from the victory but Oakland was rather fortunate as it was outgained by 195 total yards in the winning effort. It was the fourth time in five games that the Raiders have been outgained and on the season they are getting outgained by an average of 40.8 ppg. They are not going to win many games with that production and after last week, this spells letdown.
The Browns entered their bye week with a 2-2 record but they have not played all that bad. They lost their last game against Tennessee despite outgaining the Titans by 84 total yards. They were in position to cut the lead down in the third quarter but Tennessee returned an interception 97 yards for a touchdown and the 14-point swing did them in. Surprisingly this is the first game that Cleveland has been tabbed as an underdog and it is a rather big number for the Browns to be getting coming off a bye week.
The Cleveland offense has been very inconsistent to start the season. Running back Peyton Hillis has been nowhere near as productive as last season and people are speculating it is because of his contract issues. He was ill for a while and missed the third game but came back against Tennessee and averaged 4.6 ypc in a limited 10 carries. He is back to full strength and should have his breakout game here as the Raiders are allowing 122.2 ypg and 5.2 ypc, the latter being fourth worst in the NFL.
As far as the passing game, Colt McCoy has just a 78.7 passer rating but he could be in store for a big game as well. Matt Schaub lit Oakland up for 416 yards through the air last week, with much of that production distributed to his tight ends. The Browns receivers match up well as they are big and physical and if McCoy is rolling out of the pocket, he is at his best. Cleveland’s defense is allowing over 100 ypg less than the Raiders defense so don’t expect the Oakland offense to have big games like they have had recently.
The Raiders are 2-12 ATS in their last 14 games as a home favorite while the Browns are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games as a road underdog between 3.5 and 10 points. Also, Cleveland falls into a great contrarian situation where we play on underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points that are coming off a loss by 14 or more points and are averaging between 18 and 23 ppg against on offense going up against teams averaging 27 or more ppg. This situation is 30-8 ATS (78.9 percent) since 1983. 3* (217) Cleveland Browns. Get more winning NFL picks from Matt Fargo at Touthouse.com.