Oakland Raiders (0-0SU,0-0ATS) vs.New York Jets (0-0SU,0-0ATS)
Date and Time:Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, 1:00 pm EST
Where:MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
TV:CBS, DirecTV - 712
byBadger,Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:Oak. +5/NYJ -5
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The National Football League kicks off its regular season for most of the league on Sunday, with one of the early afternoon games featuring two AFC teams looking to becoming relevant in the conference chase again, when the Oakland Raiders travel East to take on the New York Jets in MetLife Stadium.
After another 4-12 season in 2013, the Raiders cleaned house a little, again and now they go into another regular season with a ton of questions that need answering. Matt Schaub was brought in to be the 17thRadiers quarterback in the last 6 season (its exaggerated, but only a little), and hell have a new top target in WR James Jones (FA from G.B.). Oakland also took a shot at resurrecting the career of RB Maurice Jones-Drew, so when teamed-up with Darren McFadden the Raiders can now have two of the top injury-prone runners in the NFL.
But while everyone was learning each others names in Oakland this summer, the Jets remained surprisingly quiet during the offseason. They brought in Michael Vick to give Geno Smith competition at quarterback, and it appears to have worked because Smith played strong enough in his second preseason that the Jets gave him the starting job early to quell and attempts by the media to cause a QB controversy. Id look for the Jets to go back to the recipe that worked for so many of those Rex Ryan playoff teams a relentless, pounding running game that is backed up by a defense that brings it, especially since the Jets brought in Chris Johnson to join Chris Ivory and try to improve their running back depth.
With the Jets flying under that medias radar for most of the preseason, its not too much of a surprise that oddmakers have taken notice and installed the home-team Jets as 5-point favorites for Sundays tilt. There are several books that moved the Jets up the half point to 5.5-point favorites, but the number has hovered around the number 5 for the most part.
The over/under total is currently listed at 39.5 at a large majority of offshore sportsbooks, although if you look hard you might be able to find a total without the hook at 39.
With the way teams play so vanilla in the preseason, if they play their best players at all, its really hard to get a gauge on how these two teams will fare in the opener. Both teams finished the preseason at 2-2, which means squat really, although the Jets won their first two games and then tossed in the towel in the final weeks to prep for the regular season, whereas one of Oaklands wins was last week accomplished with virtually all backups.
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Historically, these teams traditionally play each other once every other year, but the Jets did put up a 37-27 victory over the Raiders last December. The Jets used their defense and a blocked punt to build a big halftime lead, before a late Matt McGloin-led rally brought the Raiders a little bit of respect.
Trying to find some angles in the history of these two is also a hard proposition. Over the last 10 games (since2002) the series is split 5-5 ATS. However, the Jets are a perfect 3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS in the last three games played in New York (New Jersey actually). The over is 3-0 in the last three meeting overall, but the under is 4-1 in the Raiders last five in September and it is also 4-1 in the Jets last five games against teams from the AFC.
BadgersPick to Cover the Point Spread:I like the Jets win this game, but Im not sold on the fact theyll cover the spread doing it. Especially since one of the Jets starters at corner could be a player they pick upoff another teams waivers on Monday. The safest wager on Sunday could be the over, since the Raiders defense isnt exactly a top-flight unit, and the Jets issues in the defensive secondary are well documents. Im taking the over of 39.5.