The Oakland Raiders return home after a trip to Mexico this past Monday for Monday Night Football. The Raiders escaped with a 27-20 win, albeit with some help from the refs. The officials made several mistakes, which helped the Raiders out significantly. An incorrect ruling on a foot out of bounds play, and a bad spot at the end of the game ruined the Mexico trip for the Houston Texans. I don’t know if the Texans should have won, who knows what would have happened if the correct calls for made. I do know, though, that the proper team would have won the game.
I hate to call a conspiracy, but it seemed to me that the NFL was favoring the Raiders in Mexico, which is predominantly Raider fans. Back to the United States for the Raiders, where they’ll welcome the Carolina Panthers to the Black Hole. It’d seem like the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas, so Raiders’ fans in Oakland better soak it all in while it lasts, or so I think.
The Raiders come in as the fancy pick to make some noise in the AFC this year in the playoffs. Is there going to be a rematch of the “tuck rule” game against the New England Patriots? It’s been a long time coming and it would be a heck of a buildup if it comes true. The Pats look like locks to go far, with predictions of them getting back to the Super Bowl. I think the difference with the Raiders is experience. Well, with regards to public perception and their chances of reaching the Super Bowl. I wouldn’t discount Derek Carr, who has the attitude and composure of a ten-year veteran.
The Panthers are going to be fighting for their playoff lives in this one on the west coast. A fall to 4-7 is going to be too much to overcome, but a win could get something going for the Panthers. Cam Newton can’t do it all on his, notably, the defense has to get better. They’ve been getting gouged, it’s been ugly for the secondary who would love to have Josh Norman back manning the cornerback position. Carolina will have to deal with a thriving passing game this afternoon in Oakland. We shall see how it all unfolds between the Panthers and Raiders.
Carolina Panthers vs. Oakland Raiders NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Raiders -3.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Panthers vs. Raiders Pick:
It’s been a complete 180 for the Panthers’ defense. They had a laser tight defensive unit a year ago, especially the secondary which was a major contributor for getting them to the Super Bowl. A few months makes a big difference in the NFL. The Panthers have regressed to the point where they are 15th overall in yards allowed per game. That isn’t awful, it’s average, but average is a huge dip from where they were a year ago. The secondary is a problem point, as they’re 26th defending the pass, allowing an average of 271 yards per game. That is not the same Panthers team we saw last year.
The only two capable offenses they’ve played on the road have been the Saints and Falcons. The Saints scorched them for 41 points and the Falcons went for 48 points. Their last game was on the road against the LA Rams, a 13-10 win. No disrespect to the Rams, but they didn’t provide the stiffest test offensively. The Raiders’ offense is boiling hot. Say what you will about the Texans on offense, but their defense isn’t a walk in the park. Houston are 3rd against the pass, but Carr threw for just under 300 yards with 3 touchdowns.
Carr has thrown for 20 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions this season. He has also completed 66.2% of his passes. If he did his homework on the weak Carolina defense, Carr shouldn’t have any problems putting up points on them. The Raiders have scored an average of 30 points the last for weeks. On the season, Oakland are 5th in total team offense and 4th in passing yardage per game. If Carolina wants to stick around, their offense has to make quick work of the Raiders. They shouldn’t have many issues against a Raider unit who are allowing 393.6 yards per game. They are allowing 6.3 yards per game, which is last in the NFL. Also note that the Panthers are 1st in sacks allowed, giving up just 15 on the season. Having a nifty quarterback like Cam Newton helps. This should be one of the most entertaining games of the day, with the scoreboard getting lit up by both sides.
PICK: OVER 49.5 POINTS (-110)