Back Raiders -3.5 & Over 38 With Your NFL Picks vs. Seahawks

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 7:16 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2015 7:16 PM UTC

The Raiders and Seahawks close the preseason against one another on Thursday and the franchises couldn't be more different right now in terms of their NFL status. But that won't matter here. Seattle is -3.5 on BetOnline with a total of 38.

Raiders Defense May Resemble Seattle's
The Raiders are probably the laughingstock organization in the NFL currently -- although the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns are closing the gap with their silliness -- as they haven't finished with a winning record since reaching the Super Bowl in the 2002 season. I do actually think this franchise is on the right track with some good young talent like quarterback Derek Carr, receiver Amari Cooper and linebacker Khalil Mack. It won't be in contention for a winning record in 2015, but perhaps as soon as next year when the Raiders are playing somewhere in the Los Angeles market. And it's possible the Raiders are in the NFC West with the Seahawks as early as next season if they and the Chargers both move to Los Angeles and share a stadium. The NFL would have to shift one team to the NFC West and then move either the Rams or Cardinals to the AFC West.

Oakland does have one tie with the Seattle organization. The Raiders hired former Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. as defensive coordinator under new head coach Jack Del Rio this offseason. Norton and Del Rio played linebacker for three seasons together in Dallas years ago. I'm obviously presuming that Norton will bring plenty of Seattle influence to his Oakland defense.

The Oakland Raiders got some bad news on Sunday night in a 30-23 home loss to Arizona in preseason action. Starting right tackle Menelik Watson ruptured an Achilles' tendon in the first half and has been lost for the season. Sixth-year veteran Austin Howard, who started at guard for the Raiders last season, replaced Watson and should start. And that means J'Marcus Webb moves into a starting spot at right guard. Those aren't good things. The Raiders also released former first-round bust running back Trent Richardson. For some reason, the Raiders guaranteed him $600,000.

Carr has not been great this preseason, completing just 54.9 percent of his passes for 334 yards, no touchdowns, two picks and a rating of 58.8. I doubt we see him much Thursday. Cooper, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite, has looked pretty good thus far with eight catches for 124 yards.


Seahawks Likely To Rest Key Guys
While Oakland is a young team and might be more apt to at least play some young starters a bit Thursday, the Seahawks are a veteran team with nothing to play for so I don't expect many starters at all to see the field. Certainly not QB Russell Wilson or running back Marshawn Lynch.

Seattle is 1-2 in this preseason, winning in San Diego on Saturday 16-15. Steven Hauschka hit a 60-yard field goal with 16 seconds left for the win. He kicked a 58-yarder last regular season in a victory at Carolina to tie the franchise record. One of the most impressive rookies in the NFL this preseason has been Seattle receiver/returner Tyler Lockett. He returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter against San Diego and also returned a kickoff 103 yards for a score in the preseason opener.

Remember that Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor continues his holdout for Seattle. Chancellor has three years left on a five-year deal he signed in April 2013 that would pay him $4.55 million this season. It's looking more and more likely he misses some regular-season games. Fellow Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas has missed the entire preseason with a shoulder injury but should be ready for Week 1.

Seattle is going to add some running back depth as the team is set to sign Fred Jackson, who was just released by Buffalo. That's a solid backup option for Lynch and Jackson is still a fine receiver out of the backfield with 66 catches last season. That signing presumably means either Christine Michael or Robert Turbin won't make the final roster.

This is the 10th straight year Seattle and Oakland have closed the preseason against one another. Last year, the Raiders won 41-31 at home. Carr was great, completing 11 of 13 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns. But he played a lot then because he was making a case to win the starting job over Matt Schaub, and that performance essentially cemented that. Wilson played briefly for Seattle and threw a 25-yard TD.

NFL Free Picks: The Raiders have more young guys with things to prove so back them at +3.5 (-110) NFL odds and go 'under' 38 at The Greek

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