Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Time: NOON (CT), CBS
Spread: OAK -1
Betting odds c/o 5dimes
The Oakland Raiders are 5-2 coming off a 33-16 win over Jacksonville last week. The Raiders sit atop the AFC West division and travel to face Tampa Bay in a Noon (CT) game on CBS. Oakland is just one-point favorites in the game which has an over/under of 49.
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The Raiders have been a dominant offensive team this year. They rank No. 8 in the NFL in scoring (26.4 points per game) while balancing their attack between the rush and pass pretty evenly. Oakland averages 369.6 total yards per game with 254 coming via the pass (No. 14) and 114.9 via the rush (No. 13).
Derek Carr has had a good season thus far, with 1,808 yards on 65.9 percent passing. He is averaging under seven yards per attempt, but he has kept his INTs low (1.1 percent) and has been sacked only seven times through as many games.
The lack of miscues has allowed his receivers to thrive, but it has also set up the effective rush game that is headed by a three-headed monster of DeAndre Washington, Latavious Murray and Jalen Richard. Washington has gone for 235 yards, Murray for 231 and Richard for 183, but it is Richard who leads in yards per carry (6.1). Washington has three runs for over 20-yards, while Murray least the team in TDs with five of the team’s eight total rushing TDs.
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Carr’s best targets have been Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, with the pair combining for over nearly 1,100 yards on the season already. Crabtree leads the way in TD receptions with six, but Cooper has caught 15.4 yards per attempt on his 40 catches. Seth Roberts, Clive Walford and Richard all have caught for at least 100 yards on the season and Roberts has three TDs. Oakland has thrown 13 end zone passes this season, which matches its opponents actually.
Tampa Bay is 3-3 but is still in search of its first home win after losing its first two in Tampa. The team has won the last two weeks over Carolina and San Francisco, and it took care of the 49ers rather easily last week, winning 34-17. Jameis Winston had another big game with 269 yards on 21 of 30 passing and three TDs, but he did throw a pick and was sacked twice for a total loss of five yards.
The Bucs also got a big game out of the backfield from Jacquizz Rodgers, who rushed for 154 yards on 26 carries.
Peyton Barber was good for another 84 yards on 12 carries with the lone rushing TD for the Bucs. Mike Evans and Russell Shepard were the top two targets, combining for 173 yards and three TDs between them. Shepard caught five of six targeted to him.
The Bucs have a negative-4.2 point differential this season despite being .500. They are giving up 26.5 points per game and ranking No. 25 in the NFL in team defense, with a middling offense to counterbalance it. The Bucs average 250 passing yards per game (No. 17) and 115.3 rushing yards (No. 11), so some of this should translate to more than 21.3 points per game. The Bucs have to do a better job of converting third downs and increase red zone efficiency, but the team is clearly making its preliminary steps towards NFL relevancy in just Winston’s second NFL season.
Of course, Tampa Bay getting running back Doug Martin back from injury will go a long way towards curing those woes but there is still no timetable on his return as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Tampa Bay will make do and try to gut it out, but the Raiders are on a roll and thus far have been a better football team in 2016.