Tuesday, October 11, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread; Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders (Week 6, 2011-12)

The Oakland Raiders will play their first home game since Al Davis’s passing earlier in October of 2011. The Cleveland Browns are looking to return above .500 after having two weeks of preparation and rest. Can the Browns overcome the cross-country trip?

The early spread on this game is Raiders (-5.5). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for in pick’ em leagues. All lines from Y! Sports and Injury Reports from CBS Sports as of October 11, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week.

Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
Oakland Raiders 3-2
Cleveland Browns 1-3

Key Injuries
OL Alex Mack (Out), CB Joe Haden (Out), WR Joshua Cribbs, CB Chris Johnson, LB Ricky Brown (IR)

Keys to the Game
  • Can the Raiders eliminate the penalties?
  • How will the Raiders respond in their first home game since Al Davis’s passing?
  • Madden Curse believers?
  • Can the Browns contain Darren McFadden?
  • The Browns have had two weeks to prepare for this contest
  • Do the Browns have the speed to keep up with the Raiders?

I don’t feel right picking against the Raiders in their first home game since Davis’s passing. Darren McFadden should have a field day on the Browns 24th-ranked run defense (124.5 yards per game). They also don’t have the athletic receivers to exploit their secondary that well.

Another reason that I like the Raiders is because of speed. Davis was always known for wanting speed on his teams. The Browns really don’t have much speed other than Joshua Cribbs. Even he is under-utilized.

My top concern with the Raiders would be consistency. They commit far too many penalties. Those can kill scoring drives and put them in unfavorable situations.

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: Oakland Raiders (-5.5)
Straight: Oakland Raiders 30, Cleveland Browns 17

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