Which is worse: facing a team that annihilated their opponent the previous week (and might be over-confident) or facing a team that fell on their face (and might be extra-motivated)? For the Las Vegas Raiders, they’re hoping that the second group isn’t all that dangerous considering their Week 2 opponent — the Buffalo Bills — falls squarely in that category.
Yes, the Bills are coming off an embarrassing loss on Monday Night Football to the Aaron-Rodgers-less New York Jets — and yes they’ve got one less day of rest and preparation — but it is Josh Allen and the Bills still, right?
We’re about to find out.
For the Raiders themselves, Week 2 presents an opportunity to build off of their season-opening win over the Broncos in Denver. While it is true that Las Vegas is alone atop the AFC West standings, there was plenty that needs cleaning up from last week if the Raiders want to surprise some folks this season (and a 10 a.m. East Coast game won’t make things easy).
With that in mind, let’s get to my props and picks via BetOnline.AG…
2023 Season: 2-3 (+2.5 units)
Josh Jacobs OVER 69.5 yards rushing (-115)
Last week the Bills gave up 172 yards rushing (6.1 yards per carry) to a team that everyone knew was going to run it, and while half of that came on one Breece Hall carry I still think it’s a good sign for Josh Jacobs and the Raiders. Jacobs is going to be the bell cow (he got 19 of 20 running back carries) and will only get healthier and more productive as he gets back into shape. We hit the under on rushing and receiving yards last week, but we’re taking the over on rushing yards this week.
Davante Adams OVER 76.5 yards receiving (-118)
While Jacobs won us some money on the under last week, Adams came up a few yards short of hitting his over. This week, though, with Jakobi Myers out — and with no Patrick Surtain following Adams around — I like Adams to have a more productive week.
James Cook OVER 11.5 carries (-109)
Cook had 12 carries last week against one of the best defensive fronts in the league — and in a game that his team ultimately lost. Given how I think this game will play out from a score perspective, I see him getting at least one more carry this week — cashing the over for us.
Stefon Diggs OVER 78.5 receiving yards (+117)
I’ll try and throw at least one big plus-money pick in here each week, and this week I’ll roll with Diggs. I don’t love the Raiders secondary (although I expect they’ll keep improving as they get used to playing with each other) — and with safety Tre’von Moehrig questionable to play, give me Diggs going over. Diggs had 10 catches for 102 yards in Week 1 against some of the best corners in the league, so I think there’s a lot of value on this line.
Buffalo Bills -7.5 (-110)
Last week I picked against the Raiders and they not only covered but one, so let’s go back to the well. I think the Bills are going to be pissed off all week — which means a more focused Josh Allen and a motivated group (both bad things for the Raiders). Add in the early East Coast kick and the Bills home field advantage and this one might get ugly — I’ve got the Bills by 10, 31-21 (so yeah, throw a few bucks on the over to while you’re there).