Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots 9/21/14 NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction
Oakland Raiders (0-2) at New England Patriots (1-1)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Gillette Stadium)
The Line: New England Patriots -14.5 -- Over/Under: 46.5 See the Latest Odds
The New England Patriots look to steam roll the Oakland Raiders as week three's biggest favorite.
The Oakland Raiders are 0-2 to start the season with a close loss to the Jets in week one and a blowout loss to the Texans in week two, 30-14. Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr will be making his third career start in week three after completing 27/42 passes for 263 yards with a TD and two interceptions while also compiling 58 rushing yards on four attempts last week against the Texans. Former Packers receiver James Jones led all Raiders receivers last week with 112 yards and a TD on nine catches but also fumbled three times while losing one. The Raider backfield has potential when Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew are both healthy, but that wasn’t the case in week two as Jones-Drew sat out; the former Jaguars RB is questionable for this game.
The Raiders were 1-7 on the road last season and things don’t figure to get any easier in this game as west coast teams traveling east for early starts have traditionally struggled both straight up and against the spread. While the Raiders added some name players in free agency at defensive end in Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley, the duo could struggle to pressure Brady in this contest as the Raiders have just two sacks coming into this game.
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The New England Patriots enter this contest at 1-1 after pummeling the Vikings in week two to rebound from an opening week divisional loss to the Dolphins. In week two's 30-7 rout of Minnesota, it was the defense warranting the headlines with four interceptions and six sacks. The Pats also made a big play on special teams blocking a field goal and returning it all the way for a touchdown. With defense and special teams playing so well, QB Tom Brady didn't need to do much going 15/22 for 149 yards with a TD and Stevan Ridley ran effectively with 101 yards on 25 carries. Julian Edelman led all receivers with 81 yards on six receptions with a TD.
The Patriots figure to get their offense into full gear in this contest with TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Danny Amendola hungry to get going after sluggish statistical starts. The Patriots went 9-0 at home last year including a playoff win and should give the fans a show in all three phases against a subpar Raiders team.
Every year a couple underdogs of 14 points win outright and usually more than half end up covering the spread which makes laying this type of number less than enticing. Nonetheless, here I will take my chances as the Patriots really showed their competency in all phases last week and the Raiders haven’t shown much promise in the preseason or through two weeks of regular season action.