Two historic squads go at it on Sunday as the Green Bay Packers head to California to take on the surprisingly talented Oakland Raiders. While Oakland likely won’t qualify for the post-season this year, they’ve made huge strides and it’s clear they have some great building blocks for the future. After all of the season of disarray in Oakland, this has been a positive campaign and they’ll be eager to end it off on a high note. Their opponents from Green Bay have to be a little disappointed with their current 9-4 record. They’ve struggled so far this season, and even last week it was not Green Bay’s best efforts against a depleted Cowboys team at home. Their offense has been disastrous, and now with Mike McCarthy regaining control of playcalling, it really can only get better. Both teams need this game so it should make for some intriguing football. Read on below for a game breakdown and the official selection for the Packers and the Raiders.
Packers vs. Raiders Betting Odds:
Green Bay Packers -3.5 (-115)
@ Oakland Raiders +3.5 (-105)
Over 47 (-110)
Under 47 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Packers vs. Raiders Pick:
The Packers have shown some signs of life in recent weeks. With Mike McCarthy back calling offensive plays, there’s been greater evidence that this team can do damage in the post-season – assuming they get there. They have steadied the ship following their rare three-game losing streak, and do play good football away from Lambeau. This year, the Packers are 4-2 on the road, and have taken great care of the football in these games, holding a plus-3 turnover differential. Last week, they used the run game on the back of the revitalized Eddie Lacy to trample the Cowboys. With Lacy looking like his old-self, and the Packers offense clicking again like it’s 2014, this is a team you don’t want to run into right now. The Raiders have holes everywhere on their defense, and despite the fact that they have been better of late in stopping the run, a duo of Lacy and Sparks should be able to beat them. Moreover, Oakland has huge holes in its secondary, so look for Rodgers to have an easy day downfield. All the Green Bay offense needs to focus on is stopping Khalil Mack. Yes, that’s much easier said than done, but the Packers O-Line will be up to the task in this pivotal clash on Sunday.
The Raiders were pretty bad in the first half of last week’s game against the Broncos. Their offense looked anaemic, and nothing up to their standards. I’m not certain either defense will be able to stop either offense. Green Bay has some injury concerns, with Sam Shields currently listed as doubtful with a concussion. This won’t help, but expect the Packers to turn the Raiders into a one-dimensional team. Latavius Murray has really slowed down of late, and Green Bay will be able to limit him early. This will likely force Derek Carr into long passing down situations and potentially make some mistakes and turnovers. While the Raiders are certainly explosive, they’re not quite ready to make that leap – yet. Consistency can be an issue, and going against a veteran-laden group like the Packers will certainly expose those flaws.
Green Bay badly needs this game for their playoff quest, and despite the concerns about Rodgers’ health and their play calling, they’re simply a better team than the Raiders who have virtually been eliminated from post-season contention. Expect a professional approach from the Packers on Sunday and look for them to extend Oakland’s 31-year winless streak against the Packers.
PICK = Packers -3.5 (-115)