NFL Expert Picks Against the Spread: Oakland Raiders at San Francisco 49ers
I realize that my job here at Doc's is to convince you after reading one of my stories to go bet on said game at one of the site's affiliated sportsbooks. But, I'll just be honest here: I truly couldn't care less about this Thursday night's Raiders-49ers matchup. Two one-win teams. Just freaking terrible. The World Series is over, so I don't have that as a sports alternative that night. Well, there's the NBA on TNT doubleheader and some hockey.
You can't blame the league for putting this on prime time. I think we all thought the Niners would be a wild-card contender this year with the glimpses we saw of Jimmy Garoppolo late last season. You can't predict injuries, and that's what wrecked 2018 for the Niners. I do think they are set up to be quite good maybe as soon as next year if they get some skill position talent around Jimmy G in the 2019 draft and/or in free agency.
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The Raiders, meanwhile, aren't going to be good for a while - and, I don't think Jon Gruden cares one bit. He's whole focus is on starting to rise in 2020 when the Raiders move to Las Vegas. There is a story line involving that. As of now the Raiders don't have a lease at the Oakland Coliseum for next year with the city of Oakland apparently planning to sue the team. I don't pretend to understand all that legal mumbo jumbo. Long story short: The Raiders can't play in Vegas next year because their stadium isn't ready (UNLV's isn't fit for an NFL team) and they might not be able to play in Oakland. One idea being tossed around is the Raiders sharing Levi's Stadium with the Niners for one year. You also hear the Raiders could play their 2019 home games in San Diego or San Antonio.
You just have to feel for the sports fans in Oakland, who also are losing the Warriors next year to the more cosmopolitan San Francisco. Anyways, this will certainly be the last Bay Area bragging rights game for a long time.
Raiders at 49ers Betting Story Lines
This is written before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline, and it's more than possible both these teams could have traded someone away. Of course, the Raiders already shipped out Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, landing Gruden three first-round picks (next two from Bears and 2019 from Dallas). So, Gruden will have a chance to build quite a team with all those picks.
Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, who has been the subject of trade rumors himself, made history in Sunday's 42-28 home loss to the Colts. Carr completed 21 of 28 (75 percent) for three touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for his first pro score. He was the 25th QB in league history to complete at least 75 percent of his passes with at least three passing scores, no picks and one rushing score. The previous 24 all won their particular game. Not Carr's fault that Oakland defense is awful and allowed 21 fourth-quarter points. Supposedly, Martavis Bryant was going to take a bigger role with Cooper gone, but Bryant got exactly seven snaps and zero targets.
The Arizona Cardinals might have gone 0-16 this season if they didn't get to play the 49ers twice. Those are the Cards' only wins. They trailed the Niners 15-3 in the fourth quarter Sunday but shockingly rallied for an 18-15 win on a TD pass in the final minute. I say shockingly because Arizona has been so putrid on offense and topped 300 yards (321) for the first time all year. That game was 5-3 at halftime, which I so hope this one is Thursday. Actually, I want it to end in a scoreless tie as only one previous game in modern history has.
CJ Beathard is a solid enough No. 2 QB for San Francisco but definitely not starting-caliber. Again, though, he has squat around him. Supposed top receiver Pierre Garcon was out Sunday with a knee injury, and coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed the team has had trade talks about Garcon. If that's the case or if Garcon is out again, Beathard's top three guys would be Marquise Goodwin, Kendrick Bourne and Trent Taylor. I'm confident saying you've not heard of those last two.
Raiders at 49ers Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , San Francisco is a 3-point favorite (-120) with a total of 47. On the moneyline, the Niners are -167 and Raiders +147. On the alternate lines, the 49ers are -3.5 (+105) and -2.5 (-145). Oakland is 2-5 against the spread (1-2 on road) and 3-4 "over/under" (1-2 on road). San Francisco is 2-6 ATS (0-3 at home) and 5-3 O/U (2-1 at home).
The Raiders are 9-4 ATS in their past 13 following a double-digit home loss. The Niners are 2-6 ATS in their past eight on Thursday. They are 2-5 ATS in their past seven after a loss. The under is 11-3 in Oakland's past 14. The under is 8-3 in the Niners' past 11 on Thursday. The over is 4-1 in their past five vs. teams with a losing record.
Raiders at 49ers Betting Prediction
I don't bet every NFL game each week, and I won't be touching this one. I'll simply take Oakland at the +3.5 because Carr is better than Beathard. I think this is decided by a field goal margin either way. Actually, I might tune in at the start to see how Joe Buck and Troy Aikman can try and sell this game as meaningful in any way. Go under the total.
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