Pittsburgh unfortunately saved all their positive luck for the second half against Baltimore, getting full game bettors to the window while falling short in the first half. Shifting our focus to NFL Week 6, we head to Sin City where two staffs have extreme familiarity as Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels battle for the second straight season.
269 New England Patriots +3 (-115):
The Patriots find themselves in uncharted territory heading into Week 6 facing a “must win” situation under Bill Belichick. Having played the 4th toughest schedule in the NFL hasn’t helped, so facing a Raiders team power rated in the bottom third of the NFL with one less prep day should be a breath of fresh air.
Patriots Offensive Line Healthier
New England looks to get its offensive line back on track, not only with health and continuity, but in scheme. Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien said the staff had an extremely productive meeting focused solely on helping the line perform better amid injury. Michael Onwenu left the Saints game early, but practiced Wednesday and Thursday putting him in-line to start Sunday. Cole Strange got limited work in Wednesday and Thursday, as he’s missed 3 games this season. The Patriots have turned the ball over ten times this season with four returned for touchdowns. Without having “to math”, we believe those numbers will regress as the season continues.
Raiders Defensive Style
The Raiders defense under Patrick Graham focuses on limiting explosive passes. Considering the quarterbacks in the AFC West division, that long term strategy makes complete sense. However, the Patriots aren’t built to throw the ball deep downfield, so we have a situation where what New England wants to do, the Raiders gladly give. The Raiders are a bottom 8 defense in EPA defending short passes. This should be a game where running backs Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliot find success behind a healthier offensive line putting Mac Jones in favorable down and distances. The Raiders rank 24th in defensive rush efficiency.
Offensively, the Raiders have been nothing short of bad, currently ranking 31st efficiency. Josh Jacobs has struggled to find room behind an offensive line ranked 28th in adjusted line yards leading to an offense 31st in EPA per rush. Now the Raiders face a Patriots defensive line 12th in run stop win rate while taking on the NFL’s 1st and 3rd most efficient rush attacks of the Dolphins and Eagles. I expect Belichick to make McDaniels offense one dimensional, while focusing efforts on taking away a less than 100% healthy Davante Adams.
Let’s touch on price before we bid you adieu. The preseason number aligned with the Week 5 look-ahead price of Raiders -1. We saw the Raiders peak at -3.5 after beating the Packers but it didn’t last long before a buy order on New England came in, pushing this back to the key of “3”. I believe this continues trickling down, so grabbing +3 as soon as possible is advised. New England makes for a solid teaser leg at +2.5 or better on game day, which is where I anticipate this heading.
2023-2024 NFL Market Moves Record: (1-2)
2022-2023 NFL Market Moves Record: (13-6-1)