Last Week: 9-3-1
All-Time Results: 50-43-1, +9.64 Units
Houston Texans -6.5 vs. Oakland Raiders – .25 Units
Houston Texans -7 vs. Oakland Raiders (+110) – .25 Units
Raiders Can’t Take Advantage of Texans Weakness
The Texans three losses came against three teams in the Top 10 of Football Outsiders “Adjusted Pass Rush”: NOS (t-10th), CAR (2nd) & IND (t-10th). In those games, Deshaun Watson was sacked 15 times. In the other four games – all Texans wins – Watson was only sacked 6 times and the team averaged 31 points per game.
The Texans do have a win against a Top 10 Pass-Rush defense – the 9th ranked Chiefs. But this is the exception that proves the rule. The Chiefs in that game had 3 defensive linemen out. That new information, combined with Mahomes ankle-limitations, helped spread the crash from Chiefs -8 to Chiefs -3.5 right before kickoff. The Chiefs lost their pass rush and despite a strong performance on offense couldn’t keep the ball long enough to stay in the game.
Since the Khalil Mack trade, the Raiders have 23 sacks in 22 games. This year Football Outsiders has Oakland 22nd in Adjusted Pass Rush. Given time, Deshaun Watson, like Aaron Rodgers this past Sunday, can destroy the Raiders’ sub-standard secondary.
Houston Texans -13 vs. Oakland Raiders (+210) – .1 Units
Why do sportsbooks still think the Raiders are good?
Two road-wins against playoff-teams in the Bears & the Colts? Ok, granted. Call me unconvinced.
The Bears may indeed be frauds, and beating them in London on a fake-punt late TD drive may prove to be not that much of an impressive win. The Raiders win at Indianapolis can’t so easily be tossed aside considering their strong play since, but that was at the height of their injury problems for the Colts without Darius Leonard or T.Y. Hilton.
The Raiders only getting 4-5 points on the road at Lambeau was last week’s trap line of the week. While casual bettors probably found an easy winner in Green Bay, pros likely talked themselves into some convoluted reason why the Raiders were actually the sharper play. They weren’t.
In reality, the market can be wrong – and continue to be wrong. The Packers laid way too low of the number to Detroit. Detroit covered – but it didn’t mean that Packers were any worsed. Teams that have three drive-killing fumbles are supposed to lose against the spread. As we exploited here in this column, that incorrect pricing implicit in the Packers-Lions game bled into the next week vs. the Raiders. Similarly, I think the Raiders were not downgraded after last week’s woeful performance. True every team can have a bad game. But given they were coming off a bye – where road teams are generally 60% ATS since 2000 – I find it more likely the Raiders had their true colors revealed.
In my power ratings, the Raiders are essentially in the exact same place right now as they were to begin the year. Bad. Not Dolphins, Bengals bad – but not good. I mean, as they said on the Sopranos: There’s good, and there’s not good. They’re not good.
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