Browns vs. Raiders how to watch: TV, live streaming, odds, prediction as COVID pushes game to Monday

Written by on December 18, 2021

The Las Vegas Raiders are the not the only opponent the Cleveland Browns are facing this week. The team is also dealing with the ongoing pandemic, as more than a dozen Browns players have been placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list as of Wednesday. That has forced the league to move Saturday’s scheduled game to Monday at 5 p.m. ET. 

Along with coach Kevin Stefanski, Browns players who are currently on the COVID-19 list include Baker MayfieldJarvis LandryWyatt TellerJedrick WillsDavid NjokuAustin HooperTakkarist McKinley Jadeveon Clowney and John Johnson III. Cleveland (7-6) is currently in a tight race in the AFC North division between Baltimore (8-5), Cincinnati (7-6) and Pittsburgh (6-6-1). The Browns are currently the eighth seed in the AFC playoffs a season after winning the franchise’s first playoff game since 1994. And while it has lost five out of its last six games, Las Vegas (6-7) is still technically alive in the AFC playoff race. 

We’ll preview the game along with giving our prediction for Monday’s outcome. Here’s how you can follow the action in real time. 

How to watch 

Date: Monday, Dec. 20 | Time: 5 p.m. ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)
TV: 
NFL Network | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)  
Follow: CBS Sports App 
Odds: Raiders -1.5, O/U 38

When the Raiders have the ball 

After scoring 36 points in its Thanksgiving Day win over the Cowboys, the Raiders offense has scored just 24 combined points in its last two games. A lack of rushing and third-down success were issues in both games, while four turnovers largely contributed to last Sunday’s blowout loss in Kansas City. Las Vegas will have to do a better job on third down Saturday against a Browns defense that is currently just 21st in the NFL in third-down efficiency. The Raiders offensive line will also have to do a better job protecting Derek Carr, who was brought down four times in last Sunday’s 48-9 loss. That won’t be easy against a Browns pass rush that includes McKinley and Jadeveon Clowney (if they are off the COVID-19 list by Monday) and Myles Garrett

It will be imperative for the Raiders to find another productive receiver outside of Hunter Renfrow, who has caught 30 passes for 353 yards over the past three games. A big boost for the Raiders would be the return of Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller, who has missed the Raiders’ last two games with a knee injury. If Waller can’t suit up, the Raiders will have to lean more on running backs Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard and Peyton Barber to move the ball against Cleveland’s defense. 

When the Browns have the ball 

The Browns’ success on offensive will largely depend on who is available for Saturday’s game. Blake Hance and Michael Dunn are slated to start in the event that Wills and Teller are not able to play. Hance has already logged six starts this season, while Dunn started in Cleveland’s wild card win over Pittsburgh last January. Mayfield would be replaced by Case Keenum, who threw for 199 yards and a touchdown in Cleveland’s Week 7 win over Denver. If Landry is not able to play, Keenum will likely look early and often to Donovan Peoples-Jones, who caught five passes for 90 yards in last Sunday’s win over Baltimore. With Hooper and Njoku possibly out, that could lead to a big role for rookie tight end Harrison Bryant, who has caught at least one pass in eight games this season. 

Cleveland will likely lean on its running game Saturday, led by Pro Bowler Nick Chubb. If Kareem Hunt is limited by his ankle injury, that will likely lead to more carries for D’Ernest Johnson, who was the star of Cleveland’s Week 7 win over Denver with 146 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Cleveland should have success on the ground against the Raiders’ 26th-ranked run defense. The Browns will have to be leery of defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue (nine sacks) and Maxx Crosby (five sacks). 

Prediction 

Latest Odds: Cleveland Browns +3.5

Powered by Caesars Sportsbook

Despite their current situation, the Browns are still more than capable of winning this game. The Browns still have two of their best players in Chubb and Garrett, the latter of whom can strengthen his Defensive Player of the Year case with a big game Monday. If the Browns can get enough production from their offense while minimizing Carr, Jacobs and Renfrow, Cleveland should be able to win while staying alive in the AFC playoff race. 

Score: Browns 23, Raiders 17 

The post Browns vs. Raiders how to watch: TV, live streaming, odds, prediction as COVID pushes game to Monday first appeared on CBS Sports.


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