Whenever the Battle of California takes place – regardless of records, it’s going to be a fun and hostile atmosphere. Even though the 49ers are focused on securing a playoff berth and the Raiders are looking forward to another top draft pick, these two teams and their fan bases don’t like each other. This game is the great equalizer and expect a spirited, and competitive affair throughout. Within the Niners camp, there are a ton of rumblings of discontent and issues with head coach Jim Harbaugh. It doesn’t seem like Harbaugh will return following this season, but right now given San Francisco’s current form, it doesn’t seem like his team is playing all that hard for him. Despite their talent, there are some big question marks surrounding this Niners squad and they’ll need to answer them with a big outing today in Oakland. It’s do or die time right now in the NFL, and if the 49ers are to make a playoff push, these are the kinds of games they need to win easily. Read on below for our game breakdown and featured selection for what should be a game to keep an eye on.
49ers vs. Raiders Betting Odds:
San Francisco 49ers -9 (-115)
@ Oakland Raiders +9 (-105)
Over 41 (-110)
Under 41 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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49ers vs. Raiders Pick:
Last week the Raiders got absolutely stomped against the St. Louis Rams and as a result the line in this game has skyrocketed. But remember, this is the NFL, and things change week-to-week all the time. While the Raiders were brutal in that contest, and are a pretty bad team, they are capable of some moments, and we’re banking on this afternoon being one of them. The last time Oakland was at home, they disposed of a pretty good Chiefs team in a heated affair. This match-up vs. the Niners should also be filled with passion, and don’t expect Oakland to just roll over for their rivals on home turf.
The Niners’ offense has regressed, led by Colin Kaepernick. They cannot score consistently and have essentially been figured out by the majority of defenses. Kapernick’s ability to scramble has been limited this year, and as a result the offense has sputtered. Frank Gore is also seeing signs of being past it seep in. He hasn’t eclipsed the 100-yard mark since Week 5 and the lack of any other offensive threats on this team is really hurting him. And even though Oakland is bad, they’re fairly competent at stuffing the run. Before last week in St. Louis, they were 12th in yards allowed per carry, so look for them to be stout in that regard. Even throwing the ball has been a nightmare for Kaepernick and his Niners. He’s averaging a dismal 6.7 yards per attempt and struggled to move the chains against a bad Redskins secondary. The Raiders secondary isn’t that great either, but the 49ers attack is so bad that it won’t really matter. Oakland’s defense will do enough to keep this a one-score game throughout.
On the other side of the ball, the Raiders offense will be getting a nice boost with running back Latavius Murray returning from a concussion. When healthy Murray has been a big spark to a mediocre offense, and has really helped to take the pressure off the young Derek Carr. Look for him to be effective again today, as the Niners have conceded 120-plus rushing yards to 3 of their past 4 opponents. A healthy dose of Murray might be the best shot Oakland has, as the Niners can be lethal dealing with the passing game. If Murray can move the chains, and he should be able to, Oakland’s got a shot in this one.
Plain and simple, this is Oakland’s Super Bowl. Even though it might seem difficult when going over the numbers of the match-up the Raiders don’t like the Niners and would love to make their road to the playoffs all the more bumpy today in front of their home fans. Last week was an aberration as I really feel that they were looking ahead to this big tilt against the Niners. And with all of the current issues within San Francisco, the fact that they’re laying close to double-digits on the road is a tad comical. There are an abundance of internal issues with this team and they haven’t played anywhere close to their potential all season. They have mustered just 33 points over their past three contests, and that type of offensive performance couldn’t get it done against an NCAA team, let alone the Raiders. Oakland will battle like it’s the only game that matters this season, and while they may not win, I don’t see this game getting out of hand. Look for the Raiders to cover comfortably in front of their home fans on Sunday.
PICK = Raiders +9 (-105)