VSiN’s NFL expert makes his betting recommendations for two games on Sunday’s slate.
Chiefs at Raiders:
The Raiders are in a position to do some special things this season, but Sunday’s game against the Chiefs is enormous. The schedule really ramps up now with K.C., Cincinnati and Dallas over the next three games, with that Cowboys clash coming on a short Thanksgiving week.
I happen to like the Raiders this week against the Chiefs. It seems to be the opposite side of most people, but last week’s loss to the Giants doesn’t faze me that much, and Kansas City is still a deeply flawed team with major problems.
Las Vegas was 1-of-6 in the red zone last week against the Giants. It was a game that was very winnable, despite the circumstances with Henry Ruggs III and the long travel to the East Coast for an early kickoff, not to mention the look-ahead spot to this game. The Raiders had a big edge in yards per play, holding the Giants to just 4.5 YPP.
If you stacked these two teams up side-by-side, could you definitively say that the Chiefs were the better team? The Raiders have more yards per play on offense and have allowed more than a full yard per play less on defense. Las Vegas actually has a top-five defense in that department. Kansas City has played a tougher schedule to be sure, but this defense is still awful and the turnover problems don’t appear to be going away.
In my mind, the better team, at least right now, is getting points at home. That’s enough for me to take a shot. Raiders +8.5 is a good teaser complement with the Browns, but I also like the Raiders with a straight wager as well.
Picks: Raiders +8.5 teased with Browns; Raiders +2.5.
Buccaneers at Washington:
Both teams are coming off of the bye week. This season, teams in that situation are 3-9 ATS. The Buccaneers used their bye week last year as a springboard to go 8-0 en route to winning the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LV. I don’t know if they’ll have the same results off of the bye this season, but what I do know is that teams, especially the good ones, have looked really disjointed on offense.
That would be my fear here with Tampa Bay. I don’t really have any fears about the Bucs winning the game. Winning it by margin might be a bit trickier, but the Washington offense is so bad in so many key areas that the Bucs could play a less-than-stellar game on offense and take care of business.
That brings me to the total. The Bucs are 11th in points allowed per drive and Washington is 23rd in points scored per drive. A big reason why is because the Football Team has been terrible in the red zone, coming into action this week 31st in red-zone efficiency. Washington is also a bad third-down offense, coming in at 34.7 percent on the season.
This feels like a pretty methodical game for the Bucs and a good opportunity for the defense to shine. Given what we’ve seen from other offenses off the bye, it wouldn’t be a shocker to see Tampa Bay a little out of sync.
Pick: Under 51.