Raiders Look to Start 2-0 for First Time Since 2003

By David A.

On Sunday in Northern California, the Atlanta Falcons visit the Oakland Raiders. The current line on most sportsbooks has Oakland favored by 4.5 points with the over/under point total sitting on 49.

Entering this game, Atlanta is 0-1 straight up and against the spread. This will be Atlanta’s first game on the road. Oakland on the season is 1-0 SU and ATS. The Raiders will be playing in their season opener at home on Sunday.

With a win, Oakland could be 2-0 for the first time in the past 14 years. Oakland trailed after 3 quarters by 11 points last week against the New Orleans Saints. However, in a fourth quarter filled with point scoring, the Raiders outscored the Saints 22-10 to win.

The scoring included a Derek Carr two-point conversion pass to Michael Crabtree with under a minute left in the game for the win. Atlanta arrives in Oakland having lost its opener 31-24 at home against Tampa Bay.

The Falcons must contain the passing of Carr after last week allowing the Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston to throw for 281 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta’s starting quarterback passed for 334 yards with two touchdowns in last week’s loss to Tampa Bay. Julio Jones caught four passes including one for a touchdown last week for Atlanta.

However, Jones was limited in practice this week due to an injured ankle but should play on Sunday in Oakland.

Mohamed Sanu a wide receiver for Atlanta had five receptions and one touchdown but is also suffering from a sore ankle.

Oakland needs to shore up a defense that gave up 507 yards to the Saints. Of that total yardage, 419 were through the air by New Orleans. The defense did not sack Drew Brees even though it has Khalil Mack who was second in the NFL last year with 15 sacks.

Atlanta is 3-0 SU over its past three games head to head with Oakland.

Oakland wide receiver Amari Cooper caught six passes for 137 yards last week against New Orleans.

Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman has gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in two of his last three games played on the road.

The favorite has covered the number in 4 of the past 5 games between the two teams

Prediction: The Raiders are becoming a team with a strong offense, but need to improve their defense. Lean here towards the Raiders.