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Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers prediction, pick and odds. Will Baker Mayfield get his revenge or fall short? Handicapper Matt MacKay gives his pick for this exciting Week 1 matchup.

Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction, Pick and Odds: Will Baker Mayfield get Revenge in Week 1?

Jacoby Brissett went 5-6 as a starter for Miami in 2021 and will immediately be thrown into a revenge-game narrative against former Browns quarterback, Baker Mayfield, on the road in Carolina. Cleveland has a contending roster in all other areas, meaning the pressure falls squarely on Brissett's shoulders to manufacture a win. These teams have not played each other since Mayfield's rookie season in 2018, where he led the Browns to a 26-20 win. Will a healthy Christian McCaffery be the X factor in this matchup? Here are our picks, predictions, and odds for Sunday's game between the Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers.

Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers Start Time, Where to Watch and Odds

  • Date: September 11, 2022
  • Game time: 1:00 pm ET
  • Where to watch: CBS, Paramount+
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Cleveland vs. Carolina Injury Report


WR Michael Woods II (P - Hamstring), LB Chris Odom (IR - Knee), QB Deshaun Watson (Suspension), WR Isaiah Weston (IR - Knee), G Dawson Deaton (IR - Knee), C Nick Harris (IR - Knee), CB Greg Newsome II (P - Hamstring), WR Jakeem Grant Sr. (IR - Achilles), DE Stephen Weatherley (IR - Knee), and WR Anthony Schwartz (Q - Knee).


QB Sam Darnold (Out - Ankle), C Bradley Bozeman (Out - Ankle), LB Julian Stanford (IR - Undisclosed), K Zane Gonzalez (IR - Groin), DT Derrick Brown (Q - Oblique), QB Matt Corral (IR - Foot), CB Keith Taylor Jr. (Q - Hamstring), WR Shi Smith (Q - Suspension), and LB Damien Wilson (Q - Suspension).

Browns vs. Panthers Line Movement

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Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers Prediction

A lot has changed since the last time Carolina and Cleveland played each other. The Browns have been mired in offseason controversy surrounding Deshaun Watson and wound up trading their former No. 1 overall pick to the Panthers. Carolina is a quarterback-starved team that possesses some unique talent with Christian McCaffery and D.J. Moore on offense.

Derrick Brown, Shaq Thompson, Jaycee Horn, and Jeremy Chinn are the notable returners on Carolina's defense. However, the Panthers also made upgrades in the secondary with Xavier Woods and CJ Henderson. Their defense ranked in the bottom 12 (21st) in terms of points allowed (390) last season and only forced 17 total turnovers. Pressure in the backfield wasn't the issue, but the lack of consistent coverage from linebackers and defensive backs proved to be detrimental after September.

Cleveland was just as disappointing in 2021 but that was due to the high expectations set during their playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. Nick Chubb remains a top-five running back in the league and Kareem Hunt is still in the backfield despite previously requesting a trade. Amari Cooper was a massive pick-up for the offense, and rookie wideout David Bell had a good training camp.

David Njoku could present a matchup nightmare for the Panthers, especially with Brissett historically hyper-targeting the tight end position. Cleveland holds the upper hand in offensive line talent but McCaffery and Moore are just as skilled as Chubb and Cooper, which decreases the overall talent gap between both teams.

The Browns' defense gets talked about as a good collective unit, but they did rank 15th in points allowed (365) in 2021. Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney will be constant thorns in Mayfield's side, especially due to their familiarity with his tendencies and playing style. Don't be surprised if Panthers head coach, Matt Rhule, dials up a lot of quick, short passes to bypass the pressure and get the ball in the hands of his two best-skilled players.

Carolina started 0-2 in Rhule's first season but began 2021 with a 3-0 record while Sam Darnold was scorching defenses with his arm and legs. Mayfield is a superior talent and could get some relief from top-ten rookie tackle Ikey Ekwonu protecting his blind side, buying an extra second to set his feet and showcase his accuracy as a passer.

Expect both teams to deploy ground-and-pound football to establish the pass. Neither quarterback is fully integrated with their new offense but Mayfield is the superior talent at the most important position. Take the Panthers outright in this opening weekend revenge game.

Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers Pick

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Article Author


Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.


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