The Oakland Raiders seem to do much better on the road than at home. That makes them worth a look against the Buffalo Bills on the Week 8 NFL odds board.
Welcome back to the ranch, my friends. Good to see you. Have you been enjoying the football? It’s been another wild and wacky season, and we’re not even at the halfway mark yet. Let’s jump on those early Week 8 NFL lines and see if we can find a bargain or two. We’re looking specifically at the Oakland Raiders, who are coming off a big win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7. The Raiders visit the Buffalo Bills this Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS), and at press time they’re 2.5-point road dogs with good vigorish after opening at +3.
Why the Raiders? They’re 13-6 ATS in road games under head coach Jack Del Rio. And our consensus reports show 65 percent of first responders putting Oakland in their NFL picks. Not that we’re enthusiastic about picking a West Coast team that’s heading East to play at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, at the former Ralph Wilson Stadium, in what could be a light rain according to the long-range forecast for Buffalo. But maybe Del Rio and the Raiders have enough jam to get the job done.
Our crack analytics staff – unpaid interns, the lot of them – are giving us different projections for Sunday’s game. FiveThirtyEight has Buffalo winning 66 percent of the time, for an Elo-based spread of -4.5. ESPN’s Football Power Index only has the Bills at 53.2 percent, or -1. And the Simple Rating System at Pro Football Reference is somewhere in between, close to -2.5 with the Bills at +1.7 SRS and the Raiders at +0.4 SRS.
So much for betting value. But since there’s rain in the forecast, let’s take a look at the UNDER. The total for Sunday’s game is 46 points, up from 45 at the open, with 75 percent of early bettors preferring the OVER. These are early reports, and that could be three out of four respondents, so small sample size alert. Still, not ideal for our purposes. Plus, the Raiders had the No. 28-ranked defense in the NFL heading into Week 7, according to the efficiency stats at Football Outsiders. With no arbitrage plays available, this is one game we’re going to recommend taking a pass on. Save your money for something with a bigger profit margin. That’s #Betting101.