49ers vs. Raiders Preview + Free Pick August 8th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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Battle of Bay Area as 49ers visit the Raiders
BetUS NFL Betting Odds: OAKLAND -2.5, Total 33.5
NOTABLE STAT: San Francisco was last in points, last in total offense in 2007
KEY NFL FOOTBALL BETTING TREND:Oakland has played 10 of last 13 pre-season games under the total
It’s a battle of the Bay Area in Friday’s NFL slate, as the San Francisco 49ers (5-11 SU, 5-10-1 ATS in 2007 regular season) visit McAfee Coliseum (natural turf) for a date with the Oakland Raiders (4-12 SU, 6-10 ATS in 2007 regular season) in the pre-season opener for both clubs. The game is scheduled to kick off at 10 PM ET. In the Top Sportsbooks NFL football betting odds, the Raiders are listed as a 2.5-point home favorite, with the total posted at 33.5 points.
Here are some NFL betting trends as they relate to this matchup
* SF has lost 11 of its last 14 games SU
* SF has covered three of its last 11 games
* SF has lost six of its last seven road games SU
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* SF has covered one of its last seven road games
* OAK has lost ten of its last 12 games SU
* OAK has covered three of its last nine games
* OAK has played six of its last seven games OVER the total
* OAK has lost five of its last six home games SU
* OAK has covered two of its last eleven home games
* SF has lost its last six pre-season road games SU
* OAK has won and covered seven of its last ten pre-season games
* OAK has played 10 of its last 13 pre-season games UNDER the total
This game, like it or not, is about the quarterback position. JaMarcus Russell, who held out of training camp last season, is now in a much more comfortable, normal situation, and he will play about as long as Lane Kiffin can keep his first-team offensive line in there. Then he will give way to Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo.
While the Raiders don’t necessarily have a lot of talented receivers, and indeed are looking for somebody – anybody – to step to the forefront, they will have a spirited running game, because aside from Darren McFadden getting some carries for the first time as an NFL player, they are going to take a long look at Michael Bush, who if you recall was mentioned as a Heisman candidate before he broke his leg in the first game of the 2006 season at Louisville.
In San Francisco, there is now a three-way battle for the starting quarterback spot. And while we would normally say that competition helps the Niner cause, this time may be an exception, at least in the first exhibition, because while J.T. O’Sullivan, the youngster out of Cal-Davis, is very familiar with the new, complicated offense Mike Martz has installed, the other two QB’s – Alex Smith and Shawn Hill – most definitely are not.
And since it is quite possible coach Mike Nolan is going to want to spread their playing time equally, that is going to show for most of the time. Martz’s offense is not easy to grasp right away, and this may be a painful, and sloppy, learning experience, even more so than what Russell, who got some playing time last season, is going to go through. This dilemma becomes exacerbated because the only real talent the Niners have at the wideout spot is Isaac Bruce, who is not going to see significant time. In fact, don’t be altogether surprised is this offense is a lot more “vanilla” than we’ll see in the regular season.
O’Sullivan has been impressive in training camp drills, but there is a “deer in the headlights” effect with the other guys. This may be enough to affect a lean toward the Raiders, the 2.5-point home favorite in the Top Sportsbooks NFL pre-season betting odds.
JAY’S PLAY: OAKLAND -2.5 *
(Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)
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