Oakland Raiders 0-0 (0-0 ATS) at Tennessee Titans 0-0 (0-0 ATS)
When and Where: Sunday, Sept. 10, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn. 1:00pm EDT (CBS)
Spread: Tennessee -2; Total: 51
Neither one of these teams exactly lit it up in the preseason, with the Raiders failing to secure a single victory and the Titans going just 1-3. Of course, that is just the preseason, and both squads enter the 2017 season with high expectations. Both franchises finished in second place in their respective divisions a year ago losing out on tiebreakers to teams with the same record. Oakland and Kansas City both finished 12-4 in the AFC West but the Chiefs swept the season series. Likewise, Tennessee finished with an identical 9-7 record to Houston in the AFC South but lost both matchups with the Texans. The franchises have met one another 49 times over the years, with the Raiders having won 29 of those meetings, including the last two as well as last year’s 17-10 victory in Nashville in Week 3.
Raiders Ready for the New Season
Oakland made the playoffs for the first time since 2002 last year, the season they went all the way to the Super Bowl before losing out to the Bucs and former coach John Gruden. They lost out on the tiebreaker to the Chiefs so the 12-4 record was not good enough to win the West and 2016 would end up as a season of what could have been for Oakland. Derek Carr, in his third year, became one of the more prolific quarterbacks in the National Football League before breaking his leg late in the year against Indianapolis. Third-string QB Connor Cook, out of Michigan State, would eventually take the helm and lead the team into the playoffs where he, and they, would falter in the first round against the Houston Texans.
The Raider Nation has not sat idly by during the offseason. In one of the biggest moves in the league, they manage to lure Oakland native Marshawn Lynch out of retirement. Carr has returned and hopes are high in Oakland, even if the team is destined to leave for Sin City. The Raiders will move to Las Vegas in 2020, but in the meantime, they will be hoping to impress the fans in Oak-Town. They have the roster to do it, and are one of the favorites in the AFC this year. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are one the best receiving tandems in the NFL and if the defense can have a successful season, watch out for Oakland. Defensive back Keith McGill is nursing a foot injury and is out for Sunday.
Titans Trying to Get Better
In last year’s loss to the Raiders, the Titans felt jobbed by the refs because of two separate controversial pass interference calls, so there will be a bit of a revenge factor for Tennessee in this one. Of course, last year when these two teams met, both of them had quarterbacks without broken legs. Marcus Mariota suffered the same fate last year, literally. Both of them had the same season ending injury on the same day, which kind of sealed the fate of each team’s season. One of Mariota’s favorite targets, tight end Delanie Walker did not play against Oakland last year and should be expected to be targeted a lot on Sunday.
Mariota, like Carr, seems completely recovered from his injury from last year and is one of the top young quarterbacks in the league, with some even going as far as to call him the “Best Leader in the NFL.” If Mariota goes down to injury again, there is only one available option on the roster, Matt Cassel. The Titans decided to go with just two quarterbacks this season. Mariota and Walker were among six different players to be named Captain on Sunday, including for linebacker Tim Shaw, who is battling ALS.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September
- 9-3 ATS in their last 12 road games
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games on grass
- 13-31-3 ATS in their last 47 games on grass
- 14-35-4 ATS in their last 53 vs. AFC
- 14-36-3 ATS in their last 53 games overall
- 7-21-2 ATS in their last 30 home games
Yes, this game is in Nashville, but it is still a bit of a surprise that the Titans are two-point favorites coming in. Perhaps the oddsmakers are looking at Oakland’s preseason record, but again, we all know that the preseason is just a dress rehearsal for the real thing, and I have a feeling that once game-time hits, this Raiders’ team will turn it on. Look for Carr to have a big day, which has become the norm with under center. As long as the Silver and Black’s defense can slow down Mariotta and company, look for Oakland to win this one outright.
Pick: Oakland +2
Fifty-one is a large total, particularly in the NFL. You should also take into consideration that this is the season opener for both teams and there are still kinks to work out, which often gives the defense the edge. However, both of these offenses are capable of putting up points in bunches and neither defense has been particularly impressive. The over has hit in six of the Raiders last seven games in September and seven of their last 10 in Week 1. It has also hit four of the last five times that the Titans have played an AFC team. Look for it to hit here too.