Barring any major setbacks with Baker Mayfield’s COVID status, he and his teammates who missed the Raiders game should return against the Packers on Christmas Day. Let’s take a look at the Cleveland Browns vs. Green Bay Packers Week 16 matchup, the NFL odds, and make a pick and prediction.
Cleveland Browns vs. Green Bay Packers pick, prediction | Week 16
- Spread: Packers -7.5 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Packers -365, Browns +280
- Over/Under: 44.5
Will the Browns be back to full strength for Week 16?
Despite missing what felt like half their roster due to COVID protocols, the Browns lost on a final-second field goal against the Raiders in Week 15. Cleveland started third-string QB Nick Mullens as both Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum tested positive. Not only that, but head coach Kevin Stefanski was on the COVID list, too, so he had to leave the play-calling and game management to his staff.
Cleveland might get Baker back this week, and a few days’ rest will be great for him. But he’s still badly beaten up and struggling to play his best as a result. He’ll come back to face a Packers team that has a window of opportunity to grasp the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
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Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are the front runners right now for that all-important top seed, which would give them a first-round bye in the playoffs. Currently 11-3, Green Bay sits ahead of the Buccaneers, Cardinals, and Cowboys, who have all dropped games in recent weeks. The Packers are on a three-game win streak and are scoring at will.
Despite losing to the Vikings, the Packers have still scored 30+ points in each of their last four games. Rodgers is hot right now, so a good — or even mediocre — defensive display on any given Sunday will likely result in a Green Bay victory.
Browns vs. Packers betting trends
The Browns were on a four-game losing streak against the spread before this past week’s game against the Raiders. They were 2.5-point underdogs and lost the game by two, so they scraped a win against the spread.
They’ve won two of their last five games, but only by a total margin of 5 points, and they weren’t able to cover the spread on either occasion. Cleveland is 6-8 against the spread for the season and 7-7 on over/unders.
The Packers are a whopping 11-3 against the spread this season, but two of those four losses have come in their last four games. They lost to the Vikings as favorites and only beat the Lamar Jackson-less Ravens by one, failing to cover a 9.5 spread.
Green Bay has covered the over in their last four games after seven straight unders prior to that streak. It’s been a strange turn of events, but it’s a testament to some of the high-scoring games they’ve been involved in lately.
Browns vs. Packers prediction
I’d be surprised if the Browns can keep up with the Packers offensively, and that’s where the game begins to unravel. Green Bay has a +12 turnover differential, averaging almost one more turnover than their opponent per game — and they can score frequently.
Both teams rank fairly well in run defense and points allowed per game, which could make for an interesting battle in the trenches. But I like Green Bay to win, and I don’t think winning by at least 10 is unreasonable. I’ll back the Packers and the over, too.
Browns vs. Packers Prediction: Packers 31, Browns 20