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Football Betting Trends – Oakland at Green Bay
The Green Bay Packer’s waking dream-like season was rudely interrupted last week at Texas Stadium when they were outmatched by the Dallas Cowboys. Under pressure, Brett Favre was out of sync going 5-for-14 for 56 yards with two interceptions and a career-low 8.9 passer rating before being knocked out of the game in the second quarter. However, Favre’s charmed season continued as he was voted SI’s Sporstman of the Year – a nice consolation after a dodgy lackluster performance. Favre is still feeling (if “numbness” is a feeling?) the effects of the hit he took last week, but will start for the 250th consecutive time as the Packers strive to clinch their first NFC North title in three seasons with a win against Oakland come Sunday. The Week 14 line has the Pack comfortably favored by (-10 ½) and the football betting public seems convinced Green Bay will rebound in a big way.
With Favre banged up, the Packers will lean heavily on running back Ryan Grant against a Raiders defense that ranks 30th against the run (giving up 148 yards a game). Grant was one of the few bright spots last week in Dallas rushing for 94 yards and two scores on 14 carries. Grant runs with his pads down, has great cut-back ability and the speed to go the distance has he showed last week with an explosive 62-yard touchdown run. A promising sign for the Raiders is that their defense held the Broncos to less than 100 yards rushing last week helping to secure their second straight victory in a row. Protecting their quarterback will be a priority for Green Bay’s reshuffled offensive line. Raider’s defensive end Derrick Burgess (5 sacks) can get pressure from the outside and speed rushing linebacker Chris Clemons has six sacks. The Raiders excel defending the pass where they rank 5th in the league and have not given up multiple touchdown passes in game this season. Favre will look to get the ball to receivers Greg Jennings who will be blanked by corner Nnamdi Asomugha and Donald Driver. Rookie Greg Jennings should post solid numbers lining up wide on the right side. Versatile Raiders linebackers Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison have combined for eight interceptions and should be able to limit Donald Lee’s effectiveness in the passing game.
Last week # 1 draft pick JaMarcus Russell saw his first game action running 16 plays while going 4-for-7 for 56 yards, but the story of the game was starter Josh McCown who threw for 141 yards and three touchdowns. The Raiders will look to establish the run with Justin Fargas who has been the most productive back in the league since Week 8 totaling 591 rushing yards. The Packers have played the run well this season at the point of attack and with the sure tackling of linebackers Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk, but the defensive line has been thinned by injuries and Fargas has breakaway speed to contend with. McCown will look to get the ball to receivers Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry against a Packers secondary looking to right itself after a poor performance last week. They’ve struggled to cover tight ends all season long, so McCown should be able to hook with Zach Miller who hauled in a touchdown last week against Denver. Packers’ corner Charles Woodsen will likely miss another start with a toe injury.
Green Bay is 5-0-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss and 4-0 ATS after allowing more than 250 yards passing. The Raiders won consecutive games for the first time this season and are 5-2 ATS versus a team with a winning record. Green Bay’s offense will rely on the run and protecting Favre for their Playoff run.
NFL BETTING FREE PICK – TAKE RAIDERS AT +10 ½
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