Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
Both of these teams won as home underdogs last week, pushing themselves to 1-1. However, I think the Browns are a significantly better team than the Raiders. The Browns have noted issues in the passing game and minimal offensive skill position talent, but they have one of the best offensive lines in football and a solid defense. The Raiders’ roster is still much thinner on talent. They were able to knock off the Baltimore in last second, upset fashion last week, but I think that will prove to be more of a fluke than anything when we look back at their season. This line (Cleveland -3.5) suggests that these two teams are essentially even, which I disagree with.
The Raiders are also on the road now, where they haven’t won since week 11 of 2013. They were given a gift by the league scheduler when they were given two home games to start the season. Not only does that increase your chances of getting some wins, even some fluky wins, early, but, when you do go on the road in week 3, you tend to cover the spread because you’re the more rested squad. Teams who have their first road game of the season week 3 are 40-27 ATS since 1989. Still, it’s really hard to like the Raiders on the road here, especially as a Pacific Time Zone team playing in a 1 PM ET start time game in the Eastern Time Zone. On top of that, the Raiders are 8-23 ATS off of a win since 2009. The Browns should be able to beat them pretty easily.
Cleveland Browns 23 Oakland Raiders 13
Pick against the spread: Cleveland -3.5