Oakland Raiders (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date and Time: September 21, @ 1:00 PM E
Where: Gillette Stadium
by Jeff Hochman, Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: OAK -+14.5/NE -14.5>P/>
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The New England Patriots return home after playing three straight road games (including preseason), for a date with the hapless Oakland Raiders. Oakland lost again, for the eighth time in their last 10 games dating back to last season. The Texas won by 16 points and easily covered the 3-point road spread. The Patriots got back to doing what they do best. Winning. Without Adrian Peterson, the Vikings had no chance against a pissed-off Patriots team. New England defeated the Vikings 30-7, as 6.5-point favorites. That line jumped from -3.5 after the news that Peterson was not going to play. The Patriots outgained the Vikings by 75 yards and completely dominated at the line of scrimmage. New England also won the turnover battle 4-0, which was huge in holding the Vikings to just 7 points.
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Derek Carr looks like he can be a very good quarterback in this league. Normally, Bill Belichick and the Patriots know how to scheme its defense when playing against a rookie quarterback. As of 2013, The Patriots are 13-4 ATS against rookie quarterbacks under coach Belichick. No rookie making his first start has ever beaten the Patriots under Bellichick at home. The only chance the Raiders have is to make this game a shootout. I don’t see them having any success on the ground against a Patriots team that allowed just 54 rushing yards last week. Sure, no Peterson but that number is still impressive. The Raiders’ offensive line is going to have trouble stopping penetration early and often. They should spread out the Patriots out and run a hurry-up offense. Maybe they can tire the Patriots to an upset win. A healthy Vince Wilfork makes this defense top-notch. He’s a future Hall of Fame inductee. This looks to be a big mismatch on paper and everywhere else. I read that most scouts don’t think very highly of Raiders’ head coach Dennis Allen. There are rumors flying around that his days are numbered.
The Oakland Raiders are the biggest underdog on the entire card this Week. For good reason too. We all know that sub-par West Coast teams playing the early 1:00 PM E game do not perform well, especially in the first six weeks of the season. The current odds of 14 is the highest line in the history between these two teams. New England is 6-4 SU and 5-4-1 ATS since 1985. In 2005, the Patriots were 7.5-point home chalk and won 30-20 in the first game of that season. The Pats are 3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS when playing the Raiders of late. Again, they have never had to cover a line of this proportion.
The Raiders will be traveling to the East Coast for the second time in three weeks. That seems daunting. They covered by 1/2 point against the Jets. If this line was 7 or less, than I would agree that maybe the travel time will catch-up. But not 14.5 points. Tom Brady and company are just 1-11 ATS as double-digit favorites after knocking heads with the NFC, including a perfect 0-8 ATS at home. The Raiders have lost 14 consecutive games against East Coast foes. All we can hope for is a backdoor cover because the Patriots will be up big at some point in this game. Check the weather as we get closer to game day. Heavy rain will favor the underdog.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Oakland Raiders +14.5
I will lean to the road dog with very little confidence. I am not a fan of the Raiders head coach, but there is no way I will ever lay 14.5 points to any team in the NFL. This is just not a game to wager on.