The Bills are surprisingly 0-1 while the Raiders are almost equally surprisingly 1-0, and both teams will be fighting hard to pick up the win on Sunday. Get Raiders vs. Raiders odds, picks, and predictions below as our best bet is Raiders +9.5.
Raiders vs Bills Prediction & Best Bet
The Buffalo Bills took part in one of the most dramatic regular season NFL games in recent memory, where they took on the New York Jets after an offseason of hype surrounding Aaron Rodgers’ arrival to North Jersey. Of course, after all the fanfare, Rodgers heartbreakingly tore his achilles on just the fourth snap of the season, leaving the Jets with Zach Wilson. Of course, as you probably know by now, Wilson and the Jets pulled off a second half comeback, securing an overtime win and creating an iconic memory for everyone who watched.
As for the Bills, they left the game with more questions than they came in with, a true rarity for opening week after the always-ambiguous offseason. The offense looked sharp when the Jets seemed deflated in the wake of the Rodgers injury, but completely shut down in the second half, as they scored just three points, and then went three and out in overtime. Buffalo’s defense didn’t fold quite as much, but they allowed some concerning big plays in the ground game.
Josh Allen was a serious issue as he threw three interceptions, amazingly all to Jordan Whitehead. Fans of the majorly talented QB might write the performance off as a fluke, but he threw 29 picks over the 2021-22 seasons, and has routinely made bad decisions when put under pressure.
By contrast, Jimmy Garoppolo had a great start to his Raiders tenure, where he was reunited with Josh McDaniels, his offensive coordinator from his time in New England. Jimmy G was PFF’s third-highest graded passer of the week against a secondary that was the fourth-best under the same grading system last season, and retained most of its talent. He developed a good connection with another ex-Patriot, Jakobi Meyers, as Davante Adams was less prolific than usual while being covered by star Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain.
The Bills should absolutely win this one, but a 9.5 point spread is a wild number for a team that showed a lot of holes in week one. The Raiders aren’t a juggernaut by any means, but the offense looked sharp against a very strong Denver defense in their season opener. They weren’t able to get the run game going with Josh Jacobs, but against a Bills defense that PFF ranked 31st based on week one performances, they might have a much better shot at doing so. Furthermore, the Bills don’t have a cornerback like Surtain, so Adams could be much closer to full force. I don’t see the Raiders pulling off the big road upset, but they might surprise some people with how close they keep this game.
Raiders vs Bills Betting Odds
The Bills are 9.5 point home favorites, with -110 odds on either side of that line. The two sides of the total are both also -110, with the total set at 47.
Raiders vs Bills Key Injuries
The Raiders are still very healthy this early in the season, but the Bills will be missing star edge rusher Von Miller for a few more weeks.
Raiders vs Bills Key Matchups
Winning the game often starts at the line of scrimmage, and for the Raiders defense, that could be the key, while the Bills might be best served focusing on Vegas’s array of skill weapons.
Josh Allen vs. Raiders Pass Rush
Allen is one of the most interesting QBs to evaluate in terms of performance under pressure because of his unique pairing rushing ability and a cannon arm. He graded out pretty well last year as PFF’s top QB in pressure snaps, but that was due in large part to his running. His passing grade is also solid due to some huge throws, but he led the league in turnover worthy plays under pressure, and those can be absolute backbreakers.
The Raiders pass rush is headlined by Maxx Crosby, who had a great opening day with a sack, a hit, and four additional hurries against the Broncos. Last year was his second in a row with a PFF grade over 90, and he’ll look to keep it up. The question is if he will have enough support to get after Allen; the Raiders lack a second elite, or even solid edge rusher to pair with him. It would take a herculean effort from Crosby to make Allen’s life tough this Sunday, but he just might be up to the task.
Bills Secondary vs. Raiders Pass Catchers
After leaving Aaron Rodgers, there were some questions about how productive Davante Adams might be in his first year in Vegas, but he dispelled those with ease as he racked up 100 catches, 1,516 yards and 14 touchdowns, all on par with his Green Bay levels of production. While he was occupied by Surtain, Jakobi Meyers chipped in an outstanding team debut, with 81 catches and two touchdowns. It’s important to note that while Meyers was a bit more productive, the target split between the two was 10 for Meyers and 9 for Adams, so the distribution was more even than it may have appeared.
They’re going up against a Buffalo secondary highlighted by a safety duo of Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, who should force Adams and Meyers to run underneath. Cornerback Tre’Davious White has been an All Pro in the past, but has definitely fallen off over the past few years unfortunately. Buffalo’s other starting corner, Christian Benford, had a better day against the Jets, but we’ll have to see how he and the rest of this unit perform when facing a deeper offense than New York’s.