I wonder what went through the mind of guys like Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs and Maxx Crosby as they watched the winless Bears explode on Thursday night for their first win of the season. Written off as one of the worst teams in the league, the Bears seemed to put it all together against the Commanders — giving life to a locker room that I imagine was beginning to lose hope.
I wonder if the Raiders watch that and think, “that could be us.” Sure they’re 1-3 with yet another ugly loss in their rear-view, but what if this was their week? What if Monday Night Football, at home, against the Packers is their moment?
Oh, the power of “what if…”
For the Raiders, unfortunately, it appears they are more than one or two “breaks” away from getting this thing right. After their 38-10 beat down from the Bills, the Raiders have fallen behind 23-7 and 24-7 in the two games since before adding some late scores to claw back to respectability — and neither of those two teams was all that good.
This week it’s Jordan Love and the Packers coming to town, and the good news for the Raiders is that it’s yet another disappointing team across from them. After beating the Bears in Week 1, they lost to the Falcons, beat the Saints by one, and got smoked by the Lions. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that they’ve had a few extra days to prepare for this one given that their last game was on a Thursday night.
Speaking of preparing, our picks needed some extra preparing this week after an absolute bloodbath last Sunday against the Chargers. At halftime, the picks were looking promising — it was 24-7, we had cashed the first half over, we only needed four more Chargers points in the second half, and taking the Chargers and the points was looking brilliant.
And then? The Chargers got shutout in the second half, the Raiders added a touchdown to push on the alternate spread, and Josh Palmer converted his eight targets into just three — not 3.5 — catches.
But alas, this week we bounce back (odds via BetOnline.AG)
Last week: 1-3-1, -2.13 units (Season: 11-8-1, +5.79 units)
Jordan Love OVER 1.5 passing touchdowns (+104)
After notching three touchdowns in each of his first two games this season, Love has added just one apiece in the last two — but with his deep-threat receiver Christian Watson getting healthier I think he has another big week throwing the ball this week against a mediocre Raiders defense.
Josh Jacobs OVER 72.5 rushing yards (-110)
Now that Jacobs has finished his four-week preseason, he’s ready to eat — and it’s just in time to face one of the worst run defenses in the league so far. Through four weeks only the Bengals and Broncos have allowed more than the 155.3 yards per game the Packers are giving up on the ground. A healthy, in-shape and highly motivated Jacobs should get us there easily.
First quarter OVER 7.5 points (-105)
If there’s one thing Josh McDaniels is good at, it’s developing a script for the first quarter of a football game offensively — which is why the Raiders are seventh in the league with an average of seven points per game in the first quarter. On the flip side, the Packers get to play against a Raiders defense that has gotten shredded in the first half of two straight games — so give me lots of points early in this one.
Game total OVER 45 (-112)
The Packers have gone over 45 total games in three of their four contests so far this season, while the Raiders have gone under this number three times. I ultimately see this one being a shootout with the Raiders jumping out to a lead in the first half before the Packers rally in the second to make this one close. Either way: points, points, points.
Green Bay Packers MONEYLINE (+110)
Forget the points, give me the plus money. This burned us last week, when the Chargers would have covered the normal spread but we got greedy and went alternate and pushed. But that just means we’re due. I genuinely don’t think the Raiders are very good, and even if Garoppolo is back, he hasn’t practiced with the team much for the past two weeks. Add in the huge rest advantage the Packers have, and I think the Raiders fall to 1-4.