Jack’s Free Pick Sunday: Oakland Raiders -2.5
The Oakland Raiders have played a tough schedule in the early going with three of their first four games on the road. They have gotten through it at 2-2, and I think they are undervalued now after two consecutive losses. They beat the Jets 45-20 in their lone home game, and now they are laying just 2.5 points at home against a dismal Ravens squad.
I think the Raiders are not only undervalued because of those back-to-back losses, but also because of the Derek Carr injury. Fortunately for them, they have a veteran backup in EJ Manuel who didn’t look overwhelmed at all against Denver’s top-notch pass defense last week. In fact, if not for drops by his receivers, the Raiders would have won that game.
Manuel finished 11-of-17 passing for 106 yards with an interception on the final play in desperation mode against the Broncos. But his receiver dropped a would-be game-winning touchdown just a few plays before. And Michael Crabtree may return from a one-game absence due to injury, which would give Manuel his full compliment of weapons.
There’s just nothing to like about the Ravens right now. Joe Flacco has been awful in back-to-back losses to Jacksonville and Pittsburgh by a combined 70-16 score. The Ravens are averaging just 15 points, 270 yards per game and 4.5 yards per play this season. They lost their leader along the offensive line in Marshal Yanda in Week 2, and they’ve been completely broken since. The Raiders have the better offense even with Manuel, and it’s not really even close.
Look for Marshawn Lynch to get going against the Ravens. Baltimore allowed 166 rushing yards to the Jaguars and 173 more to the Steelers in its past two games. And the Ravens have a banged-up secondary with CB’s Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb and Jaylen Hill all questionable to play this week.
Jack Del Rio is 10-2 ATS in home games off two or more consecutive losses in all games he has coached. Oakland is 10-2 ATS in games where the line is +3 to -3 over the last two seasons. Baltimore is 0-6 ATS versus teams who commit one or fewer turnovers per game over the last three seasons. The Ravens are 2-7 ATS in their last nine road games. Oakland is 5-1 ATS in its last six home games. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings. Bet the Raiders Sunday.
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