What a flip of the script in this game. As COVID-19 continues to ravage NFL locker rooms, the Cleveland Browns have been one of the worst hit teams this week. Most notable, quarterback Baker Mayfield has been ruled out of this game to do health and safety protocols, which means it is backup quarterback Case Keenum taking snaps. Before Mayfield was out, the line sat at about -6.0 for the Browns, which means we have seen a swing of more than a touchdown on the point spread. Meanwhile the Raiders are still unsure if they will have all pro tight end Darren Waller, who has yet to practice since injuring his knee in Week 12 against Dallas. With the game just over two days from now, it seems unlikely that Waller will suit up once again. Las Vegas is coming off a drubbing in Kansas City and will now make its second straight trip out East in as many weeks. The Raiders are clinging to slim playoff hopes, but it seems their defense is crumbling at a crucial point in the season. Cleveland is coming off of a narrow victory over the Baltimore Ravens, a game in which Cleveland faced backup quarterback Tyler Huntley for a majority of the game after Lamar Jackson sprained his ankle early on. In my opinion, the line has moved too much. Is Mayfield worth a touchdown downgrade? Absolutely not. In fact, we’ve already seen this season that when Keenum takes over, the offense does not really miss a beat. I think Cleveland should still be a field goal favorite, so I will gladly take the +2.5 points in the first of two Monday Night Football games kicking off at 5:00 pm Eastern Time.
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