Cleveland Browns vs. Green Bay Packers Pick and Prediction for December 25, 2021

| December 22, 2021 7:00 am PDT

Christmas Day might belong to the NBA, but the NFL has decided to get in on the action. The first of two Christmas Day games will feature the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers.

Cleveland is still in contention for the playoffs, but a loss would all but end their chances. Thanks to losses from the Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay is in the driver seat to claim the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Here are the odds for Saturday’s game.

Browns vs. Packers Odds

Cleveland Browns (+7.5)-110
Green Bay Packers (-7.5)-110
Cleveland Browns to Win+270
Green Bay Packers to Win-350
Over 45-110
Under 45-110

It’s hardly surprising to see the Green Bay Packers come in as a touchdown favorite. Right now, they look like the best team in football.

Green Bay has also been the best team against the spread. They’ve covered in 11 of their 14 games, but they’re 2-2 in their last four games. The over/under is a bit weird because they went under in seven straight games, then followed that up by hitting the over in four consecutive games.

The Cleveland Browns have also been a bit inconsistent, but last week was the first time since Week 9 they covered. They’re also an even 7-7 on the over/under.

These days, COVID has taken a bigger hit on rosters than injuries. Cleveland is among the league leaders in COVID cases, but they should get a few players back, including Baker Mayfield.

Green Bay has been much more fortunate with COVID.

Now that we’ve established the betting trends, let’s check out each team’s chances.

Cleveland Browns Preview 

The Cleveland Browns have been a tough team to solve. They were a special teams miscue away from starting 4-0, but we haven’t seen the same consistency since then.

Every time the Browns have a nice win, they back it up with a terrible performance. They destroyed the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 9 but lost 45-7 to the New England Patriots.

I’m wondering when we will see this team string together a few wins.

Cleveland’s defense has been top 10 most of the season, but their offense has let them down.

  • Points Per Game: 20.9 (20th)
  • Yards Per Game: 341.1 (19th)

Nick Chubb is having another great season, but the passing game hasn’t given him much help.

The assumption is Baker Mayfield will clear COVID protocol and return for this matchup. But honestly, does it matter? Mayfield ranks outside the top 20 in passing yards, touchdowns, QBR, and passer rating.

Cleveland likes to use their ground game and defense to control the pace. That might work against teams like the Detroit Lions and Las Vegas Raiders, but the Green Bay Packers are a different animal.

Green Bay has scored over 30 points in four consecutive games. Cleveland has a solid defense, but they need to score to keep up. Hopefully, they can bring back some of their offensive playmakers.

Check out a few of their offensive players that are on the reserve/COVID list.

  • Jarvis Landry
  • Austin Hooper
  • Kareem Hunt

Landry leads the team with 44.1 receiving yards per game, while Hooper has a team-high three receiving touchdowns. Hunt has missed time with a calf injury, but he is an integral part of the Browns backfield.

It’s going to come down to whether the Browns have enough firepower to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense.

Green Bay Packers Preview

The Green Bay Packers dodged a major bullet last week when the Baltimore Ravens failed on a late go-ahead two-point conversion. Green Bay’s victory allowed them to move up to No. 1 in the NFC.

Green Bay has been one of the best teams all season, but Aaron Rodgers has been making a late-season surge for his second straight MVP.

Here are his numbers in his last four games.

  • 71.1 completion percentage
  • 325.3 passing yards per game
  • 13 touchdowns
  • 0 interceptions

Overall, Rodgers ranks top five with 30 touchdowns, 67.2 QBR, and 110.4 passer rating. Do the Cleveland Browns have an answer for Rodgers?

Cleveland has allowed the eighth-fewest passing yards per game. However, we’ve seen them struggle lately against Joe Burrow, Mac Jones, and Tyler Huntley. By the way, Rodgers is superior to those quarterbacks.

Green Bay’s defense has been shorthanded lately, but help could be on the way this week.

Kenny Clark should return from the reserve/COVID list. His presence will be important as the Packers attempt to slow down the Browns run game.

Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith have missed extended time with injuries, but there’s a chance they return this week.

We don’t hear a lot about the Packers defense, but they’ve ranked in the top 10 for most of the season. However, we’ve seen them struggle lately.

Check out their points allowed in their last four games.

  • Week 11 (Minnesota Vikings): 34
  • Week 12 (Los Angeles Rams): 28
  • Week 14 (Chicago Bears): 30
  • Week 15 (Baltimore Ravens): 30

That might not matter for this matchup, but they need to improve their defense for the playoffs.

Can the Packers strengthen their hold on the No. 1 seed, or will the Browns pick up a much-needed win? Here is my pick.

Browns vs. Packers Pick 

  • Green Bay Packers (-7.5)

I’m all in on the Green Bay Packers. I feel confident enough to take the (-7.5) point spread. The Cleveland Browns haven’t played well lately, and I don’t think they’ll turn it around at Lambeau Field.

As long as Kenny Clark returns, Green Bay should be able to neutralize Cleveland’s ground game. I should also note the Packer haven’t lost at home this season.

We only have a few weeks remaining in the regular season. Make sure you check out the NFL picks page as we cover the closing stretch.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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