The Las Vegas Raiders fly to the east for a Sunday afternoon AFC showdown against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The weather is not expected to be pretty in Cleveland on Sunday. Even if there isn’t a lot of rain, most of the precipitation is expected in the morning, strong winds are going to be swirling around at FirstEnergy Stadium.
It isn’t going to be dry, though, with around a 50%-60% chance of a mix of rain and snow in the afternoon. Sustained winds of 25 mph with gusts close to 40 mph could be in play on Sunday for the Raiders and Browns. The Browns enter Week 8 on Sunday with a record of 5-2.
The hyper competitive AFC North is wide open at the moment. The Ravens, Steelers, and Browns are all in the hunt, with the Cincinnati Bengals removed from the picture. The Browns are just unlucky having to play in the same division as the 5-1 Steelers and 6-0 Ravens.
The Steelers and Ravens meeting this week in what is Game of the Week material. Too bad that one isn’t the Sunday Night Football game. I understand the rivalry aspect between the Cowboys and Eagles, but not excited with anything to do with the NFC East.
Cleveland is coming off a hard-fought 37-34 win over the Bengals last week. The Bengals aren’t as bad as their record indicates. They’ve been fighting and threatening games down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Joe Burrow has that offense clicking, with plenty of positives to take from his rookie campaign in 2020. It’s time for the front office to address their bad defense before they begin to become involved in the AFC North discussion.
Out west in the AFC West, the Raiders are second in a division dominated by the KC Chiefs. It’s the Chiefs and then everyone else in the AFC West. The Raiders are ahead of the 2-4 Broncos and Chargers with a record of 3-3. Jon Gruden has a lot of work left to do if they want to compete with the Chiefs in the division, despite beating them this season.
One win doesn’t make a team. A win on the road on the opposite side of the country in bad weather would be another good win for them, though. Even with Odell Beckham out of this game, and for the rest of the year with a torn ACL, the Browns at home should be tough. Head below for our free Raiders vs. Browns pick for November 1, 2020.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cleveland Browns NFL Week 8 Betting Odds:
Raiders vs. Browns Prediction:
While the Raiders are a team that plays inside a dome in a temperature controlled facility, they might appreciate the windy conditions on Sunday. Playing in Oakland, the Raiders didn’t have to deal with poor weather conditions often there either. Why? The Raiders are pretty useless against the pass. If you want to exploit the Raiders’ defense, hit them through the air deep. The Raiders are conceding 283.3 yards per game through the air.
There are only four teams in the NFL who have been worse than the Raiders at defending the pass. With the wind most likely going to come into play, and no Beckham for the Browns, this should be a game where the Raiders can skew their numbers in the right direction. The Raiders have been much more disciplined against the run. They’ve allowed 119.8 yards per game on the ground, which puts them around the middle of the league in that regard.
The Browns have been just as bad or worse than the Raiders against the pass. The defense is conceding 288.1 yards per game. On a nice day, Derek Carr likely chews this Cleveland secondary up. However, it’s not going to be so easy in poor conditions, especially for a quarterback from California that doesn’t have much experience in bad weather. Carr played his high school, college, and pro ball all in California until the move to Las Vegas.
Expect both offenses to utilize their backfields often in this one. When they do take to the air, expect Baker Mayfield and Carr to keep everything underneath with short passes for the most part. The Raiders will be fine with handing the ball off to Josh Jacobs. Jacobs is a workhorse that should have no problems being the focal point of the Raiders’ offense on Sunday.
For the Browns, they won’t be able to counter with Nick Chubb because of a knee injury. Kareem Hunt is a solid alternative, though. Both weaknesses for these teams, the secondary, should be neutralized to an extent because of the weather conditions forecasted for Sunday. There will still be some plays made in the passing game, but enough action on the ground to keep the clock ticking. I will side the UNDER in a 26-20 or 24-21 game in Cleveland.