San Francisco 49ers (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Oakland Raiders (1-11 SU, 6-6 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date and Time: Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 4:25PM EST
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
by Scott, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SF -10/OAK +10
Over/Under Total: 40.5
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On Sunday in a battle of Bay Area teams, the San Francisco 49ers cross the bay to take on the Oakland Raiders. Its not much of a road game for the Niners, with Oaklands home stadium actually being closer to San Francisco than the 49ers home stadium in Santa Clara. The Niners are coming off a disheartening 19-3 home loss to rival Seattle, a must-win game where they came up flat. The Raiders have their own issues in an 1-11 campaign that bottomed out last week with a 52-0 loss to the Rams. Both teams could use a positive result, especially the Niners, who need to keep winning to keep their playoff hopes viable.
The Niners need to beat the Raiders to go to 8-5, with another crack at Seattle coming the following week. Having lost the first Seattle game, the Raiders will like not benefit from a sandwich-game dynamic. The Niners will be pumped up, even as they prepare to face a 1-11 team. Before the Seattle loss, they had won three in a row. But for a home SF offense to put up 3 points, even against a top defense like Seattles, is really alarming.
Oakland has a lot of issues, as one would expect with a 1-11 team that is coming off a 52-0 beating to a sub-.500 team. QB Derek Carr has been taking his share of lumps, but he still offers Oakland some upside moving ahead. The defense is ranked 31st in points allowed, though they are only 15th in total yards allowed. Still, no offense has scored less than the Raiders this season and no team has run the ball with less success or accumulated fewer yards overall.
It was disappointing to see the Raiders lose so badly on Sunday, especially after being well-rested after beating the Chiefs in a Thursday game. In their only win of the season, Carr showed some great leadership, while the defense came up big when it needed to, beating a red-hot team in the Chiefs. Maybe being back at home will give way to a better version of the Raiders. In that win, they saw the continued growth of exciting running back Latavius Murray. But the Raiders rotten luck continued. After electrifying the Oakland faithful with a 90-yard TD run, he suffered a concussion, forcing him to miss the game on Sunday. He hasnt been cleared for this game, but would give a big boost to the Raiders chances, as he has 166 yards and 2 TD runs on just 14 carries. For a team that hasnt been able to run the ball worth a lick, Murray could be the answer theyve been searching for.
In 5 of the last 6 games, the 49ers have not surpassed 17 points in scoring. And while the defense is still among the top units in the game, its downright difficult watching what seems like a loaded offense groping their way aimlessly through games. One struggles to give a good reason why they are 26th in the league in scoring at 19.2 points per game. Look for better success against a beleaguered Raiders defense that made the Rams look like Super Bowl contenders last week.
Friscos O-line still has some big-time talent on it, but it does seem more vulnerable this season than in the last several years. The run-game has lost some of its potency, while QB Colin Kaepernick in under duress a lot this season. But the defense could continue to be their saving grace, as players like Aldon Smith and others start making their way back into the fold. In their last 3 games, they have allowed only 42 points.
Oakland is going to need to take care of the ball better. Theyve only secured 8 turnovers all season from their opponents, while coughing up the ball 26 times, the second-most of any team in the NFL. They have the worst turnover margin in the league. Oakland is also last in the league in sacks with a paltry 13. Its no accident that Oakland is last or toward the bottom in nearly every pertinent category. Point blank–theyre pretty bad.
If looking for a double-digit road favorite, the 49ers are one of the last teams youd think of taking. Theyre just not a team really built to thrive in that role. And since week one, theyve only won once by that margin or more–against St. Louis in early-October. Now if there were to be a team SF could smoke, it would seem to be the Raiders, but for those who are hesitant in taking the 49ers as this big of a road favorite, the trepidation is very warranted.
In beating the Chiefs at home, the Raiders caught a team that was on the heels of a long winning streak that may have been overlooking the then-winless Raiders. Other than that game, the Raiders have lost at home by more than what this spread is except for one other time. And facing a Frisco team on a very short road trip that should be putting a lot into this game, it could be a long afternoon once again for the Raiders.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the San Francisco 49ers minus 10 points.