Oakland Raiders (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) at Buffalo Bills (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS), Week 2–NFL Football, Ralph Wilson Stadium (AstroPlay Turf), Orchard Park NY, Sunday, September 18, 2011, 1:00 PM Eastern
by Jeff Hochman, NFL Handicapper, JH-Sportsline
Point Spread: Oak +3.5/Buf -3.5
Over/Under Total: 42.5
The Oakland Raiders travel East to take on another undefeated opponent in this early Inter-conference match-up. Both teams are coming off impressive straight up and ATS victories.
On Monday Night Football you watched the Oakland Raiders run wild on Denver’s defense. The Broncos had more total yards (310) than the Raiders (289) but 3 turnovers for the home team was the beginning of the end. The Raiders won in Denver for the fourth straight season in Hue Jackson’s NFL head coaching debut, and handed the Broncos their first loss in a home opener since 2000. John Fox lost his debut as Denver’s coach, and he lost at least two play-makers in the process. Elvis Dumervil and Champ Bailey had to leave game in the second half which weakened their defense. Darren McFadden ran for 150 yards and Janikowski kicked a MNF record 63-yard field goal, which ended up being the difference in the game.
The Buffalo Bills upset the Kansas City Chiefs in a major way. Ryan Fitzpatrick tossed four touchdown passes and the Bills romped to a 41-7 victory over the defending AFC West-champions at Arrowhead Stadium. Buffalo jumped out to a 14-0 lead and never looked back. Remember the home-field advantage the Chiefs had at Arrowhead back in the day. It hasn’t been around lately. The Chiefs have lost their last three home games including playoffs by 34, 23 and 21 points respectively.
The Raiders did not have a strong passing attack last week, but with the way Darren McFadden was running with the ball, they really didn’t need one. Jason Campbell was 13-of-22 for 105 yards and one touchdown. The Raiders leading receiver was Darrius Heyward-Bay with four catches for 44 yards. Sooner or later Oakland will need big passing stats to win games in this league.
Darren Mcfadden emerged as the NFL rushing leader after Week No. 1. He gained 150 yards on 22 carries, which comes out to a very healthy average of 6.8 yards per rush. The Bills were able to contain Jamaal Charles of the Chiefs last week, but McFadden has a lot more strength, so the Bills run defense will have another big test this week.
The Buffalo Bills offensive line really stepped up last week and did a very commendable job in limiting the Kansas City Chiefs to only one sack. They will really have their work cut out for them against the Raiders because their defensive line is much improved from last season. Everybody knows that Oakland is going to run the ball, so it will be important for the Bills to have a strong running game as well. It’s not like the Raiders run defense in 2010 was anything special. They were ranked No. 29 in the NFL last year and were only allowing 24 less yards per game than the Bills defense. The Raiders run defense looked much better on Monday Night as they only allowed the Broncos 38 yards.
Theses two teams have only played each other just one time in the past 5 seasons. That lone game occurred in 2008, where the Bills won 24-23 in a game that went back and fourth. You might as well throw that game out the window in terms of relevance, as both have basically turned over since 2008.
The Raiders are 2-7 SU over the past three seasons when playing in the Eastern time zone. But, Oakland is 3-0 ATS last three visits to Ralph Wilson Stadium. Oakland is also 3-0 ATS after playing on Monday Night.
Buffalo is 6-0 ATS last six tries vs. the AFC West and they are a bankrolling 16-4 ATS in game two over the last 20 years.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Pass
The Buffalo Bills have the Patriots on deck while Oakland is coming off that MNF division win. Conflicting info across the board. Not sold on these two teams yet. This is a very tough game and line. Stay Away!
Additional NFL Football Betting Previews