Oakland Raiders (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: September 27th, 1:00PM ET
Where: First Energy Stadium
TV: Direct TV Sunday Ticket, CBS locally
by Jeff Hochman, Professional Handicapper, jhsportsline.com
Point Spread: OAK +3.5/ CLEV -3.5
Over/Under Total: 41.5
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This line opened at Cleveland -4.5 and in 20 minutes was bet down to the current line. There is some sharp action on the road dog. The Browns got their first win by defeating the Tennessee Titans 28-14 as 1-point home chalk. It was not what you would call a pretty victory. Tennessee outgained the Browns 385-274. The Browns took advantage of the Titans’ three turnovers and nine penalties for 85 yards. Johnny Manziel completed just 8 for 15 passes for 172 yards. Of his eight throws, two of them went for touchdowns. The Raiders shocked the Ravens by winning a shootout 37-33 as 6.5-point home underdogs. Oakland was outgained by nearly 50 yards despite passing for 351 yards. The Ravens secondary struggled in the second of back-to-back road games. Derek Carr was sharp, passing for 351 yards and three touchdowns. Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper both surpassed 100 yards receiving.
Oakland has the tall task of traveling three time zones and than playing an early 1:00 PM E (10:00 AM body clock) game. The Chargers and 49ers were in this role last Sunday and both teams failed to cover the spread. The 49ers were coming off a short week while the Steelers had 10 days to rest and prepare. Your’s truly had the Steelers and the Over on these pages last Week. This angle has been a favorite of sharps and professionals alike. It’s not full proof though. Before last Week’s result, the Chargers had gone 6-1 ATS in their last seven when playing early on the East Coast. You have to pick your spots and not blindly play every Eastern Time zone home team facing a West Coast squad in the early tilts.
I wasn’t impressed with either teams performance last Week, even though both found the win column. The Browns still have major issues on offense while the Raiders have major issues on defense. The Browns will always be a run-first team as long as Manziel is under Center. The Raiders have allowed over 100 rushing yards in both their games this season. The Browns have a good offensive line and will look to run early and often. Cleveland rushed for 116 yards in last Week’s victory behind Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. I think the dynamic duo will have some success on the ground in this game. The real problems arise when and if the Cleveland Browns fall behind. They are lacking consistent firepower in the passing game, especially with Josh Gordon suspended for the season.
The Raiders are coming off a confidence building victory against the Ravens last Week. Jack Del Rio had his team fired up after their week one clunker against the Bengals at home. The Raiders were impressive on offense, not so much on defense. Nobody in their right mind gave the Raiders a chance to win that game straight up. I would imagine many survivor pools took a beating with that result. I had the Saints so my survivor pool is finished.
Cleveland defeated the Raiders 23-13 as 6.5-point home chalk last October. The Raiders outgained the Browns 387-306. The Browns are 7-2 ATS against the Raiders since 2000. To me, I have a very hard time backing NFL teams that won the previous Week despite getting outgained by a significant margin. That’s the case for the home team in this one. It’s a big reason why the line moved down a full point. Wise guys are ignoring the West Coast to East Coast angle and betting against the Browns and its inept offense. The Browns have gone 2-8 ITS (in the stats) in their last 10 games, dating back to last season. That will not win you a lot of games in the NFL, and is backed-up by the Browns’ 2-8 SU record in those 10 games. I would never lay points with this current Browns roster. As underdogs, that’s a different story.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Oakland Raiders +3.5
There are some 4’s out there so shop around for the best line. This is not the strongest of plays, but I will lean to the road dog.
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