Last week, I suggested a slight lean to Oakland at +3 or more points vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Oakland won 21-18.) This week, I’m going the opposite way with a strong lean towards the Philadelphia Eagles to win outright as +2 or better underdogs.
Despite an electrifying run to open the contest against the Steelers, quarterback Terrelle Pryor played a horrible game. He threw two interceptions, zero touchdown passes, and completed only 10 of 19 passes (53%) for 82 yards and an average of 4.3 yards per pass attempt. In his last game before that, at Kansas City, Pryor threw 1 touchdown pass, 3 interceptions, and completed 10 of 34 passes (29%) for 149 yards and an average of 3.4 yards per pass attempt. Those are horrible numbers. Overall for the year, Pryor has 5 touchdown passes, 1 rushing touchdown, and 8 turnovers.
The Oakland team has been playing like a yoyo all year, alternating wins and losses almost every week. The Raiders have generated under 300 yards of offense in each of its last four games.
The Philadelphia Eagles look to have quarterback Nick Foles back for this matchup. Despite a horrible game in his last outing, Foles has played some decent football. In a three game road trip, from weeks four to six, Foles had 6 touchdown passes, 1 rushing touchdown, and 0 turnovers. The Eagles generated over 400 yards of offense in each of those three road games.
Philadelphia’s Offensive Coordinator, Pat Shurmur, played Oakland on the road last year, while he was still head coach of the Cleveland Browns. With Brandon Weeden as quarterback, the Browns rolled up 475 yards of offense, their highest total of the year. Weeden completed 25 of 36 passes (69%) for 353 yards and an average of 9.5 yards per pass attempt, his best numbers as a pro.
Here’s an Oakland stat you won’t find anywhere else: the Raiders are 7-44 against the spread (ATS) at home when they allow 100 or more rushing yards, including 0-1 this year, and 0-5 the last two years. With Foles off his shakiest game of the year, expect the Eagles to rely heavily on their ground game.
I have slight reservations backing an Eagles team that gives up 26 points per game, but I also wonder if Oakland’s pop-gun offense can take advantage of that fact. And who are the 3-4 Raiders to be laying points to anyone outside of Jacksonville? Philadelphia looks to win the turnover battle, and they earn a strong lean at +2 or more points, with Nick Foles under center. (If Barkley starts, all bets are off.)