Fresh off of a 4-0 start to Week 16 following some stellar picking on Saturday and Sunday – we’ll look to close things out with a Christmas Day winner between the Raiders and Eagles.
It’s been an excellent year of NFL handicapping for myself at TheSportsGeek, currently entering today’s game hitting picks ast a 61% rate. If memory serves me correctly, that is my top mark since I began writing these articles.
Today’s Monday Night edition features two teams trending in vastly different directions. The Raiders were supposed to be a lot better this year, but it looks like changes are coming in Oakland after a disappointing campaign. They’ll take to the road tonight to lock horns with the Philadelphia Eagles – who frankly caught everyone off-guard to produce a pretty great season thus far. And although they’ve lost Carson Wentz, Nick Foles looked solid last week in his absence. Philly still has a ton to play for – including potential byes and homefield advantage throughout the post-season. As always, read on below for a full game breakdown and a betting prediction for this Christmas evening special as we seek out a perfect 5-0 week.
Raiders vs. Eagles Betting Odds:
Oakland Raiders +10 (-110)
@ Philadelphia Eagles -10 (-110)
Over 46 (-110)
Under 46 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Raiders vs. Eagles Pick:
It is remarkably difficult to beat teams consistently by double-digit margins, so forgive me but I need to slow the hype train on Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles. This is a great and complete football club, and aside from losing Wentz – they’ve been very fortunate with injuries at all other key positions. That said, going from Wentz to Foles is by my calculations a nearly 6-point drop. Foles is that bad, and Wentz has been that good – especially in 2017.
Foles loves to checkdown, and that should limit opportunities to truly blowout the Raiders on Monday night. Oakland has improved defensively throughout the year, and though they still aren’t great, the Raiders can and should turn in a solid outing. The eyes of the football world are on them in this primetime Christmas night spot – and I’d look for Oakland to not simply just mail it in. Oakland is quite good at applying pressure and they’ve done a good job against the run all season long. This should force Foles into situations he didn’t have to endure last week, and potentially mistakes with his passes. They still have a glaring hole at left tackle – and if the Raiders can take advantage, this game could be a lot closer than first thought.
Philadelphia’s defense is starting to come back down to Earth and that is to be expected. They’re good but not great, but will now be forced to be even better without Wentz. Last week, the Giants actually fared pretty well against this unit – and the Raiders have a ton of talent on this side of the ball and should relish the chance to just out there and play pressure-free football. Michael Crabtree and Jared Cook won’t be able to be covered, and I foresee a big outing from Derek Carr.
This is a huge spread and I just can’t support it. Nick Foles shouldn’t be a 10-point favourite against a college team, frankly. This line is heavily inflated because of the situation and spot – and I think we are getting great value with Oakland. The weather is also supposed to be quite windy, which may force run-heavy attacks from both squads. Oakland stifles the run well, and can smash the football down Philly’s throat. Not saying they win outright, but I think the Raiders do enough to keep things close on Monday evening.
PICK = Raiders +10 (-110)