Christmas Day night and the NFL, a nice late night treat to distract from the England cricket teams likely bad start to the Boxing Day test. Neil Monnery previews Oakland's trip to Philadelphia...
'Quarterback Derek Carr got hurt and since his return, hasn't been the player everyone expected him to be. The last time he threw for more than two TDs was in October.'
Oakland Raiders @ Philadelphia Eagles
Monday 26 December, 01:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports Mix & Main Event
For the Raiders...
They need a miracle to make the playoffs but before Oakland are mathematically eliminated, first the team have to leave their families at Christmas, hop on a flight across the country and face the NFL's best team according to record. Not the ideal scenario for an upset, this.
Jack Del Rio's side have been one of the biggest disappointments in the league this season. Quarterback Derek Carr got hurt and since his return, hasn't been the player everyone expected him to be. The last time he threw for more than two TDs was in October.
The hype around Marshawn Lynch's return was embarrassing consider the paltry numbers he's put up. The former Seahawks' standout running back has yet to even clear the 700 yard barrier on the ground for the season. What he has done in recent weeks is slowly pick it up but the chance for a memorable season in Oakland has all but disappeared entirely.
Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin have been by far the best players for this team. Both have been able to get into the backfield and create havoc for opposing O-Lines and QBs. Mack in particular has shown himself to be one of the standout defensive players in the NFL. If Oakland have a chance, they'll need him to have a monster night.
For the Eagles...
Losing Carson Wentz to a season-ending injury is the type of blow most teams couldn't imagine having to absorb yet still retain hope going forward. Luckily for Philly though, they have one of the more capable backups around in Nick Foles.
The 28 year-old threw for four Touchdowns to go along with no picks last week in a slugfest with the New York Giants. With the likes of Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery to throw the ball to, he has more than capable receivers. Both have scored a TD in three of their past four games.
The 1-2 punch of LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi gives the Eagles the type of balance every team is looking for in the backfield. Having two players with starting quality keeps the Philly ground attack fresher than most going down the stretch.
Oakland are getting nine points on the road, when you are being spotted over a touchdown it makes me nervous. Yet I don't think the Raiders will be all that interested and I have Philly winning relatively comfortably. Therefore I'll go with Eagles-9 for [1.94] on the Exchange.
Points-wise the line has been set at 47. My instinct is that is slightly too high and after some consideration, I'm sticking with my gut. The Likes of Mack and Irvin will stall one or two Eagles drives stopping them from piling it on. [1.92] on the Exchange.
On the side markets, I've spotted a surprisingly long price using the #OddsOnThat feature. Nick Foles to throw for 238.5 yards and throw two interceptions is 14/1. I know his record in taking care of the ball is historically good but still, that seems like a high price.