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Raiders vs. Browns 2015 picks and predictions: Cleveland picked to move above .500

The Cleveland Browns have the strong support of most experts when they host the Oakland Raiders in Week 3.

Johnny Manziel beat the Tennessee Titans last Sunday, but Cleveland Browns fans everywhere have to be happy that Josh McCown will be back under center this weekend when the Oakland Raiders come to town. Manziel has the "throw a 50-yard bomb to Travis Benjamin" play down to a science -- he's hit it three times already -- but McCown is the much more polished passer and game manager.

The Raiders, though, have Derek Carr coming off the best performance of his career in Oakland's upset of the Baltimore Ravens. Carr threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner to Seth Roberts with 26 seconds to play. More importantly, both Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper each had over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown, giving the Raiders a pair of deep threats that Al Davis would have loved.

What Al wouldn't like is the Oakland defense, which has given up 66 points and nearly 900 yards in two games, putting them at the bottom of the NFL. The Browns offense hasn't exactly been spectacular, but McCown's return should give it a boost.

Cleveland's defense has been average through two weeks, but they will need to be better than that to contain Oakland's reborn vertical passing game. Cooper's speed is already making him a brutal matchup for cornerbacks, and if Cleveland gives him safety help over the top, Crabtree will get plenty of chances to cause havoc.

Still, with McCown back and the Browns playing at home, they are getting the most love from experts and machines alike. At CBS, all but one of the experts are siding with Cleveland.

Back in the NFL wing of SB Nation headquarters, our expert panel is picking the Browns by a 6-2 margin. Only Ryan Van Bibber and PFT Commenter are picking the Raiders on the road.


Ryan Van Bibber Stephen White Joel Thorman David Fucillo Danny Kelly Matt Ufford PFT Commenter OddsShark
CIN vs BAL OAK CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE OAK CLE