Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans
Date and Time: Sunday, September 10, 2017, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Nissan Stadium
Week 1 Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Raiders -1.5, O/U 51.5
Raiders vs. Titans TV Coverage: CBS
The Raiders were no doubt one of the biggest surprises in the league last season winning 12 games and ending a 14-year playoff drought. While the defense left much to be desired with Khalil Mack failing to live up to his breakout campaign the previous season, the offense made up for it by trotting one of the most lethal units onto the gridiron every passing week. Oakland averaged over 25 points and 363 yards per game. Both averages ranked them amongst the top-10 in both categories.
It was a shame how the end of the year went down for Jack Del Rio’s squad. The injury to Derek Carr took all the air out of the balloon. The offense ended up stalling in the second season with Connor Cook at the controls. Thankfully, Carr is 100 percent recovered from the broken leg he suffered in Week 16 and will be all systems go for what’s being touted as a potential shootout. He threw for just under 4,000 yards and tossed 28 touchdown passes to just six interceptions. That type of efficiency wins you games, and that’s something he’ll look to do in what looks to be a very competitive AFC West.
The hype machine is working overtime in Tennessee with the Titz now installed as the odds on favorites to win the AFC South and end the Texans reign. That’s right folks, Tennessee’s odds to win the division currently sit at +129 with the defending champs checking in at +152. Houston certainly boasts the better overall defense, but has all kinds of question marks surrounding its offense. That’s not the case for Tennessee with former Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota looking to take a major step forward in his third season at the NFL level.
Upper management brought in some new toys to work with this past offseason by drafting stud wide receiver Corey Davis and bringing in veteran pass catcher Eric Decker. Those two paired with tight end Delanie Walker and WR1 Rishard Matthews should have Tennessee building upon the team’s bottom third ranking in passing offense. Complementing the revamped passing attack will be a ground game that averaged over 136 yards per game with DeMarco Murray earning every penny the team threw at him last offseason. Oakland ranked No. 24 in yards allowed last season, so look for the Titans offense to thrive in Week 1.
The Raiders have strolled into Nissan Stadium each of the last two seasons and come out with hard fought victories. They won by a 24-21 final count as 1-point favorites back in 2015, and then followed it up with another hard fought 17-10 win last season as 2-point favorites. Neither game combined to go over the closing total. If the Titans are to truly live up to the hype they’re getting as we enter the regular season, they must come out on top of this matchup. They outgained Oakland 393-368 in last year’s loss, but ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard due to losing the turnover battle 3-1. Mariota had one of his worst games of the season in throwing a pair of picks and only passing for 214 yards. He’ll have to step up big in this one if Tennessee’s offense is to take advantage of what looks to be a very leaky Raiders secondary.
Raiders vs. Titans Picks
I’m pumping the breaks on this one! The betting public has turned the Raiders who were initially installed as 1.5-point favorites, into full field goal underdogs even though better than 56 percent of the tickets written are in firm support of the visitors. That tells me there’s some big money riding the home team. While that’s all good and fine, the Titans have to show me they’re ready to win a game like this before I completely buy in. Oakland was a juggernaut on the road a season ago winning six of eight regular season games, and they’ll bring a 9-3 against the spread record over their last 12 road games into this tilt. The Titans have also been a poor side to back when at home managing a 7-21-2 ATS record over their last 30 games. Be sure to shop around for odds at a few sportsbooks. If you can get the full three points, take them!
Raiders vs. Titans Week 1 ATS Pick: Raiders +3 at BookMaker.eu
Raiders vs. Titans Score Prediction: Raiders 24 – Titans 23