Green Bay Packers vs. Oakland Raiders
Date and Time: Friday, August 24, 2018, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Opening NFL Odds: Raiders -3, 45
Packers vs. Raiders TV Coverage: NFL Network
While the starting offense is said to be getting a rest, that won’t be the case for the defense which needs to shore some things up before the start of the regular season. Through two exhibition matchups, the Packers have given up an average of 25.5 points per game ( No. 25 ) and had a rough go of it stopping the run ( No. 23 ).
Most of the damage has been incurred by the backups, so the starters running up against Oakland’s No 1s will give us a good barometer as to where this unit truly is heading into the regular season. If nothing else, statistical improvement is expected. Running up against a Raiders offense that’s been held in the teens both games should see an uptick in production.
While it hasn’t been flat out ugly, it hasn’t been drop dead gorgeous either. Gruden’s troops have split the first two games under his watch to move him to 31-17 and 25-19-4 against the spread lifetime during the exhibition season. It took until late in the second half for them to make a game of it at LA last week, and by that time, it was too late.
With the Rams on the regular season docket, Gruden elected to rest a number of his offensive starters. Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson and a whole host of others didn’t see a single snap. With that the case, you would expect the starting offense to get a bunch of work in this matchup. With the passing game pretty much nonexistent the last two weeks, it’s highly likely a bulk of the plays called for the No 1s will be of the passing variety. It will be a good test with Green Bay’s defense defending the pass ( No. 17 ) better than the rush ( No. 23 ) thus far.
Player to Watch
DeShone Kizer – The former embattled Cleveland Browns quarterback has started to put a little separation between himself and Brett Hundley for the backup role to Aaron Rodgers. He’s really taken to the Packers coaching staff and looks to have taken a step forward throughout training camp as well as the first two weeks of NFL preseason betting. He boasts the second best quarterback rating on the team behind Rodgers, and has averaged 9.4 yards per attempt with a long of 82. He’s thrown a pair of touchdown strikes, and most importantly, hasn’t thrown an interception after logging a whopping 22 a year ago.
The Raiders have shut opposing pass attacks down allowing 141 yards per game, but didn’t have to face Stafford in the opener nor Goff last week. If Kizer is to come up with one of the more shocking position battle wins of the preseason, he’s going to have to shine in this spot with the nationally televised cameras zooming in on him for all to see.
Packers vs. Raiders Free Picks
Just because McCarthy isn’t starting his No. 1 offense, it doesn’t mean he could give a crap about this game. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s plenty still to be decided in the backfield and along the offensive line, and this showcase will give him an excellent opportunity to decipher exactly who he will or won’t be going to war with at the start of the NFL betting season.
Oakland’s starting offense hasn’t shown much and I’m sure we’ll see more of what the unit has up its sleeve, but will it be enough to cover the touchdown spread? With Kizer and Hundley duking it out for the backup QB gig and the starting defense set to run up against Oakland’s No. 1s, I’ll gladly take the extra cheddar and not buy into either of the enormous line swings.
NFL ATS Pick: Packers + at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Raiders 24 – Packers 21