It's the Battle of The Bay on Thursday night, as the Raiders make the short 27-mile trip to the home of the 49ers. Kieran O'Connor says Oakland should take this one but as both teams only have one win, it won't affect much.
"The handicap in this is three points in favour of San Francisco but I just can't have that, tipping up either of these teams would usually be hazardous for your health but tipping up the 49ers is very dangerous right now. Any team that loses twice to the Cardinals is just not a safe bet."
Let's start with the Raiders, and more importantly Jon Gruden. This is his big return to the Raiders, he has reputedly signed a 10 year, 100-million-dollar contract. It looks like it was a poor choice. Not that the Raiders have been terrible this whole season, in fact they have looked somewhat good at offence, defensively it is a completely different story. The decision to trade Khalil Mack to Chicago looks to have been one of the worst decisions made by a team in a long time.
Mack, the fifth-overall pick in 2014 who's racked up 40.5 sacks in his career, won a Defensive Player of the Year award, and has been named First Team All-Pro twice, entered the offseason needing a raise. He stayed away from the team during the summer but the belief was that he would reach agreement. When the Raiders traded him to the Bears it sent shock waves through the NFL including their own players who took to twitter to voice their concerns.
Yes, the Raiders got draft picks for him but as Will Brenson of CBS put it, "Every year, 32 NFL teams spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars preparing to make first round picks. All in the hopes that one of them will turn out to be, Khalil Mack".
They have since traded away their best WR in Amari Cooper and there was even rumours they would listen to offers for QB Derek Carr. That is insane, Carr is an excellent QB and one of the few decent players left at the franchise, where Oakland got from here is anyone's guess but Gruden has his hands full right now.
No Jimmy, no party
On paper, it's all a bit doom and gloom down at San Fran too. They lost top running back Jerick McKinnon in the preseason, then the real disaster happened; quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 3. The injury bug hasn't stopped biting the 49ers since.
On Sunday they blew a 12-point lead against an Arizona side that I genuinely believe is the worst one in the League. Yet, they have managed to lose twice to them.
It is a tough time to be a San Fran fan, at the time of writing this, quarterback C.J. Beathard was struggling to grip a football because of a sprained right wrist and didn't practice. If Beathard can't play, Nick Mullens, a 2017 undrafted free agent who has not taken a regular-season snap, would make his debut for a 1-7 team on a six-game losing streak. However, they have an exciting manger in Kyle Shanahan, an injured but excellent QB who in time could prove to be a huge asset. This season though it could get worse for them before it gets better.
The handicap in this is three points in favour of San Francisco but I just can't have that, tipping up either of these teams would usually be hazardous for your health but tipping up the 49ers is very dangerous right now. Any team that loses twice to the Cardinals is just not a safe bet.
On the flip side, they will have the ball a lot. On Sunday against the Colts, Oakland let Indy rack up 28 first downs, 222 yards rushing and 239 passing and a 36:30 to 23:30 advantage in time of possession. They averaged 7.7 yards per play. In fact, the Colts kept the ball almost the entire first quarter. The Raiders had three snaps and punted, but the Raiders can score something San Fran is currently struggling at.
Derek Carr looks to have the stronger weapons to go to with Doug Martin, Jared Cook, Seth Roberts & Jordy Nelson all very capable of doing a job. San Fran will rely heavily on tight end George Kittle & third choice RB Alfred Morris. The Oakland Raiders are available on the Sportsbook at 9/10 +3 but I can see them winning this game out so the 5/4 on offer & while I think San Fran are lacking a deep attacking threat we have mentioned how bad defensively Oakland are so a punt on Oakland to win the game and Over 46.5 points at 10/3 on the Sportsbook is another one to consider.
Back Oakland Raiders to win @ 5/4
Back Oakland to win & over 46.5 Points @ 10/3