To be honest, I’m not a fan of rollercoasters. The ups and the downs, the twists and the turns — my stomach just can’t handle it. As soon as you think you’re finished, there’s one more drop out of nowhere, a loop you didn’t see coming — it’s like a never-ending nightmare at times for my stomach.
But who could have known the 2023 Las Vegas Raiders would be the nausea-inducing rollercoaster we never saw coming?
The win against Denver made us believe this team was going to be different! And then…three straight losses by an average of 13 points. Headed for a top pick, I guess. But no! Back-to-back wins against the Packers and Patriots brought back the flicker of belief in a team that all of a sudden was careening towards .500 with a pitiful group of teams upcoming on the schedule.
Surely the lowly Bears without Justin Fields — a team starting an undrafted rookie quarterback from the Division II ranks — would be no match for a Raiders team that was hitting its stride, right?
Just when you think this team is going to zig, they zag — getting absolutely housed by one of the worst teams in the league, trailing 30-6 until scoring a garbage-time touchdown with one minute left in the game. This leads to this Monday’s matchup against the Lions in prime time — a good team that is highly motivated after their own embarrassing loss (38-6 to Baltimore).
Surely this one is predictable, right? Surely the Lions will come out and predictably smash the lowly Raiders, even with Jimmy Garoppolo expected to return, right?
On to the picks… (Odds via BetOnline.AG)
Last Week: 1-5, -4.5u (Season: 17-18-1, +.91u)
OVER 9.5 1st Quarter Points (-108)
The Lions are third in the league in first-quarter points, scoring 6.9 points per game — while Josh McDaniels’ issue is rarely his pre-scripted plan. Give me 10 or more points in the first 15 minutes of this one, and let’s get ourselves off to a positive start.
Raiders UNDER 17.5 total points (-110)
We all know the Raiders offense has been a nightmare this season — and the Detroit defense is legit — and motivated after giving up a season-high 38 points last weekend. With Garoppolo in and out of practices for the past few weeks, I don’t think the Raiders get things on track this weekend, so I’m taking the team under.
Davante Adams OVER 73.5 yards (-113)
With all the talk about Adams being a non-factor in the offense of late, I think Josh McDaniels is going to do everything possible to avoid having to answer those questions again in his postgame press conference. Look for Adams to be the focal point on Monday night with a nice-looking box score.
Josh Jacobs to score a touchdown (+110)
Someone on the Raiders has to score, so give me Jacobs to touch paydirt at some point in this one. I don’t think his overall numbers end up looking too pretty, but his fantasy managers will be thrilled to see him get into the end zone.
Raiders +8 (-105)
Every part of me feels like this game could get ugly, but that 8 is a scary big number — and this feels like a back door cover waiting to happen. I’ll plug my nose and take the points because this feels like a 24-17 type of game to me.