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The Oakland Raiders will look for their first win of the season Sunday when they host the resurgent Cleveland Browns at 4:05 p.m. ET. The Raiders are three-point favorites after the line opened at 2.5, while the over-under for total points scored is 45, up a half-point from the opener. Before you make any Browns vs. Raiders picks, you need to hear what SportsLine expert Mike Tierney has to say.
Tierney is a national sportswriter whose work appears in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He is also one of SportsLine’s most successful handicappers in every sport. Tierney specializes in the NFL, and he is off to another hot start with his against the spread picks for SportsLine members. In fact, he’s winning them at an amazing 70 percent clip.
What’s more, he’s looking to build on an incredible record when it comes to these clubs. Over the past two seasons, Tierney boasts a record of 17-4 in games involving either the Browns or Raiders. Just last week, Tierney advised SportsLine members to support the moribund Browns, who went winless last season, against the Jets. Rookie Baker Mayfield came off the bench to lead Cleveland to a 21-17 victory, their first in 635 days, and those who followed Tierney’s selection cashed in another winner.
For Raiders vs. Browns, we can tell you Tierney leans toward the Over in this one, but his much stronger play is on the side. He has released a strong point-spread selection that is only available at SportsLine.
Tierney knows the tough-luck Browns made strides last week behind the regular-season debut of Baker Mayfield, the brash No. 1 overall pick whom many fans had clamored to see in the starting lineup on opening day. Mayfield went 17 of 23 for 201 yards in relief of the ineffective Tyrod Taylor and led two second-half touchdown drives to help Cleveland overcome a 14-0 deficit. Carlos Hyde, who ran for 98 yards, finished off the drives with a pair of 1-yard scores.
Mayfield’s emergence added some offensive punch to go along with what has been a stout defensive unit. The Browns (1-1-1) are allowing 19.7 points per game and are in the top 15 in most major statistical categories.
Even so, there’s no guarantee they can continue their momentum and cover against a Raiders club that is hoping to make a breakthrough of its own as it enters a new era.
The Raiders (0-3) are winless in the first year of their second stint under Jon Gruden, who signed a $100 million contract to return to coaching following nearly a decade away from the game. Oakland’s defense was impacted by the late trade of star linebacker Khalil Mack to Chicago and the offense has a shortage of explosive playmakers.
Still, the Raiders are a couple tough breaks away from being 2-1. They dominated most of the way against Denver before a late defensive letdown allowed the Broncos to set up the game-winning field goal in their 20-19 victory.