NFL Picks Against the Spread Week 6: Cleveland Browns vs. Oakland Raiders

Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Sunday, 10/16/11, 4:05 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Oakland -7
Current Betting Line:  Oakland -6.5
Opening Total:  44
Current Total:  44.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Oakland Raiders may be emotionally spent after last week's win over the Houston Texans

Cleveland is coming off its bye week and looking to bounce back from a 31-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans as one-point home favorites when it last played two weeks ago.  The Browns will also be dressing up as underdogs for the first time this season.  Unfortunately for the franchise, most of the focus has been centered around the health of running back Peyton Hillis, who has raised some questions about sitting out on Sept. 25 with strep throat.  “You feel unappreciated because you want to get something done and nothing has gotten done at this point,” Hillis commented about the real problem in seeking a new contract.  Cleveland is 5-3 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points, while the ‘over’ is 19-17 in the last two-plus campaigns.

The Browns have had to rely heavily on the arm of second-year quarterback Colt McCoy, who threw for a career-high 350 yards and attempted 61 passes agains the Titans.  Cleveland may find some holes to attack in an Oakland defense that ranks 31st in the league, surrendering 438.6 yards per game.  The Browns have scored eight touchdowns in their first four games, which is an improved rate from reaching pay dirt just 26 times during the entire 2011 season.

Oakland tallied an emotional 25-20 win over the Houston Texans last week after the passing of owner Al Davis, which has many believing that the club may suffer a major letdown Sunday.  “That’s not what he was about,” commented Raiders first-year head coach Hue Jackson on telling his team about Davis’ passing.  “Don’t use a rallying cry over him.”  The Raiders were fortunate to come away with a victory due to allowing 473 total yards, while gaining just 278.  Oakland is 20-17 ATS over the last two-plus seasons and the ‘over’ is 19-17 in that span.

The Raiders will want to get the ball in running back Darren McFadden’s hands, as he carried the ball just 16 times for 51 yards last week.  He still continues to lead the NFL with 519 rushing yards, while also pacing the team with 17 receptions.  Oakland has relied on his presence in the backfield to score in the red zone, ranking third in the league in scoring touchdowns on 68 percent of its trips inside the 20-yard line.

Bettors will likely back the Browns due to their 14-6-1 ATS mark as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points, while the Raiders are 7-21 ATS as a favorite.

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