Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns
Time: NOON (EST)
Spread: CLE -2.5
The Cleveland Browns is 5-2 heading into Week 8 where it hosts the Las Vegas Raiders as 2.5-point favorites. The Browns last defeated the Cincinnati Bengals on the road, but it will spend this week and the following two at home. The over/under in this game is set at 50.5 points, and the game will air at Noon (EST) on FOX.
The Cleveland Browns avenged its second loss last week with a 37-34 win over the Cincinnati Bengals to improve to 5-2. The Browns are much improved, and lot of that credit can be given to star QB Bake Mayfield. He has thrown 63.1 percent for completion en route to 1,392 yards, 15 touchdowns, with seven picks and 11 sacks. His passer rating is a very respectable 94.5.
Kareem Hunt has carried the team on the ground, with some contributions from Nick Chubb and D’Ernest Johnson. Hunt leads the team in yards (463), but Chubb has four TD rushes to Hunt’s three. Johnson has none, but he boasts the highest per-carry average at 5.0. After tearing his ACL, Odell Beckham vacates the No. 2 receiver spot with Rashard Higgins likely to see the time. Jarvis Landry leads the team in receptions (29), yardage (367) and is tied with Beckham for first downs (17). Tight end Austin Hooper has caught 22 passes for 205 yards and a TD, as well.
Kicker Cody Parkey is 8 of 8 on field goals and 22 of 23 on PATs. He has hit four field goals from beyond the 40, and the Browns have confidence in him when the offense stalls out, even in the longer kicks to be asked of Parkey.
The Las Vegas Raiders are 3-3 and in second place in the AFC West. However, after tough losses to the KC Chiefs and Tampa Bay, the Raiders are looking to get back on track to the type of play it exhibited its first two outings, victories over Carolina and New Orleans.
Derek Carr has quietly put together a very strong season. He has thrown 72 percent for completion and has 13 TD passes to his two picks. With 1,726 yards and a 112.8 passer rating, how well he can sustain without Beckham now will be seen.
Lead rusher Josh Jacobs has taken 116 of 170 rush attempts for Las Vegas, but he has done so with mediocre results, highlighted by his 3.4 yards-per-carry. Devontae Booker has shown (Considerably) more promise, but he has just 20 carries for 126 yards (6.3 per carry). The leading pass catcher is tight end Darren Waller. He leads the team in receptions with 40, and he has amassed a team-best 345 yards. Waller has three TD catches, but that ranks No. 2 with lead wide receiver Nelson Agholor has caught four TD passes in addition to his 292 yards and 13 first downs.
The Raiders can move the chains, but it has to get more consistent production from the backfield, which again puts the onus on the offensive line to provide the protection necessary. Jacobs is not a poor running back, or the Browns would not entrust him with over two-thirds of handoffs, but under four yards just will not cut it if the Browns want teams to take it seriously on the ground–to frame the explosive receiving game it has already exhibited. Oakland is a tough team for a .500 ball club, but it easily could have itself a winning record with better execution, harder work by the offensive line, and all of that hopefullly spells something of a more diverse offense for the Raiders.