Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Sunday's matchup features two teams on winning streaks. The Oakland Raiders are now tied for the lead with the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West after beating the winless Cincinnati Bengals 17-10 last Sunday.
Meanwhile, the New York Jets have found a groove winning their last two games. In their latest victory, they dominated the one-win Washington Redskins 34-17.
Sunday's contest takes place at MetLife Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. EST. The game airs on CBS.
The Raiders must play tough defenseFor Oakland to win on the road, they must be able to pressure Jets quarterback Sam Darnold. Oakland will have the opportunity to do this too, as New York's offensive line ranks 26th in the NFL in the block pass rate metric.
Moreover, by flushing Darnold out of the pocket, it forces him to make quicker reads. This is where the Raiders' ball-hawking safety can come up with a few turnovers to tilt the momentum of the game.
Offensively, the biggest question mark for Oakland concerns the health of running back Josh Jacobs. Jacobs was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice due to a shoulder injury. However, this didn't dissuade him from playing last week, so expect him to play.
He'll need to have a big game too, as the Jets' rushing defense is formidable. They allow only 72 yards on the ground per game. If Oakland can win the battle up front, they'll win this contest. I don't see quarterback Derek Carr having any trouble throwing against a Jets' secondary that gives up 270 passing yards per game.
Jets are hoping to keep their win streak aliveFor the Jets to win, they must continue to build their pass rush. One player to watch is safety Jamal Adams, who's had five sacks in the Jets' last two wins.
New York almost by necessity has to apply pressure to Carr because their secondary hasn't been stellar at defending the pass. If Carr has all day to throw, then he'll pick apart the Jets' secondary.
Moreover, another to battle watch is on the line of scrimmage. New York features one of the better rushing defenses in the league and they're facing Oakland who has one of the better rushing attacks. If the Jets win the battle at the line, it could force the Raiders into second and third and long situations where players like Adams can excel.
Offensively, they need another big game from Darnold. He's had a stellar November so far where he's completed almost 66% of his throws for 783 yards and six touchdowns. The Raiders present a better challenge than Darnold has had so far this month, so it's dependent upon him having the time needed to make the right reads.
Trends found on Covers.com New York is:
- 1-6-1 in last 8 against AFC opponents
- 4-0 ATS in last 4 after allowing more than 150 rushing yards in their previous contest
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Raiders hold the decisive edge when passing the ball. The offensive line should hold up consistently well against creative Jets' blitzes, giving Carr all the time he needs to make big gains through the air. This opens up the running lanes for Jacobs, who has another big performance. For his part, Darnold will make enough plays to keep the Jets in it, but their defensive vulnerabilities lead to a late score as Oakland avoids the trap and wins on the road.
Prediction: Oakland -3
Full-Game Total Pick
While neither offense features a high-scoring attack, each faces a defense that struggles to limit scoring. Between both squads, the defenses surrender 50 points per game. Given Carr's ability to make consistently strong reads against a Jets' defense that's one of the worst in passing yards allowed per game, Oakland should be able to score more than their season average of 22 points. Meanwhile, the Jets have found their groove behind the consistent play of Darnold. New York continues this success on Sunday with another high scoring offensive performance but will lose a close game to the red-hot Raiders.
Prediction: Over 47