The Green Bay Packers will look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive in Week 14 when they visit the Cleveland Browns. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, December 10 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. Fans in local markets can watch the game on Fox.
The Packers enter the game as 3-point favorites on the road. The over/under is set at 40.5 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 14 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Packers vs Browns Game Preview & Betting Odds
Reaching the playoffs as a wild card in the NFC won’t be easy. But the Packers are still alive after last week’s overtime win against the Bucs. The win was just Green Bay’s second since losing Aaron Rodgers to injury, taking them to 6-6 on the season and two games out of a wild-card spot.
Nevertheless, the Packers are still in the hunt. There’s also a chance that Rodgers will be able to play in Week 15. Getting Rodgers back would change Green Bay’s playoff outlook significantly. However, they still need backup Brett Hundley to lead them to at least one more win. Realistically, the Packers can’t lose another game if they hope to reach the playoffs.
The Browns, meanwhile, are just four losses away from a winless season. Last week’s loss to the Chargers dropped Cleveland to 0-12 on the season. Each of Cleveland’s last five losses has come by more than a touchdown. The Browns are showing no signs of improvement late in the season and there’s little optimism that they can steal a win before the end of the season.
Free NFL Pick Against the Spread: Packers -3
My early lean in this game is toward the Packers, who are playing with their backs against the wall. In fairness to the Browns, three of their losses at home have come by just three points. But it’s been more than a month since they were competitive in a game for more than a half. I just can’t buy that Cleveland will suddenly be able to keep a game close for 60 minutes.
Of course, the Packers have their problems too. Hundley has been inconsistent as a passer over the course of his six starts, and he was particularly bad last week against a lackluster Tampa Bay defense. That being said, Hundley’s inconsistency has included some impressive games. He’s actually been better on the road than at home this year. I can see him playing well against a Cleveland defense that’s one of the worst in the league.
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It’s also important to point out the spark rookie Jamaal Williams has provided Green Bay’s rushing attack in recent weeks. Williams is playing with something to prove and fresh legs, and he’s playing against defenses that are starting to tire late in the season. The Packers may also look to utilize Hundley’s athleticism as a runner. Green Bay had some success with that last week and it would certainly help compensate if Hundley has another bad day throwing the ball.
Of course, even if the Packers struggle to move the ball offensively, the Browns aren’t likely to be much better. Cleveland has scored more than 16 points just once in their last six games. If that trend continues, the Packers would need at most 20 points in order to cover the spread. That’s not asking a lot.
Right now, Cleveland seems intent on sticking with DeShone Kizer at quarterback, for better or worse. In only two games this season has Kizer completed at least 60% of his passes. He still struggles to avoid turnovers and doesn’t always get support from his running game, especially when the Browns fall behind. Even an average Green Bay defense should be able to shut down the Cleveland offense.
I’m not expecting a pretty game, but I believe the Packers should ultimately win the game comfortably and cover the spread. I’m not expecting much from the Cleveland offense, which should make things a little easier for the Green Bay offense. Even if it’s out of sheer desperation, the Packers should be able to score the points they need to win and cover.