Packers –7 Over Raiders for NFL Picks in Week 3 Preseason

Jason Lake

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 3:42 PM GMT

The Oakland Raiders will try to beat the football lines for the first time this preseason when they visit the Green Bay Packers. But should we divert our betting attention to the NFL totals for this matchup?

Dennis Allen could use a break today. The 41-year-old head coach of the Oakland Raiders is coming off back-to-back 4-12 campaigns in his first go-around under the headset. He’s also 3-7 SU and ATS in exhibition play after tripping over the NFL odds in his first two games this year. Somebody give that man a hug.

Allen and the Raiders have their work cut out for them Friday night (8:00 p.m. ET, CBS) when they face the Green Bay Packers, who are favored by the full seven points on the Week 3 NFL odds board at press time. But there’s another, even juicier football betting angle that we might want to consider: Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has the OVER cashing in at 21-13 in his preseason career. Hmmm… what to do?

 

Deflated Balls
First of all, nobody said you had to make a binary choice here. You could fold both these angles together into a parlay; taking the favorite and the OVER is one of the oldest tricks in the NFL betting playbook. Higher-scoring games tend to give the favored teams the room they need to cover the spread. And the Packers are pretty good at getting into the end zone. McCarthy was a tight end in his college days and an offensive co-ordinator in the NFL before taking the top job in Green Bay. He knows his stuff.

All well and good, but before you lock in your NFL picks, there are some other issues on the table. First and foremost, after several solid years of preseason profit for the OVER, everything’s gone pear-shaped this year at 13-19 (40.6 percent). The Packers are responsible for two of those UNDER results; the Raiders split their first two preseason games against the football totals. On top of that, Friday’s matchup has an over/under of 43.5 as we go to press, the biggest total either team has seen thus far.

Then you have the Packers playing their Week 3 exhibition game on short rest. They turfed the St. Louis Rams (–2.5 at home) 21-7 this past Saturday, one day after Oakland’s last-minute 27-26 victory over the Detroit Lions (+3 away). If that weren’t enough to give you pause, Green Bay won’t be practicing Wednesday, which means even less time to prepare for the next game.

 

Alapalooza
But let’s circle back and look at the Oakland Raiders. This organization is still trying to clean up the mess that late owner Al Davis left behind. In his earlier years, Davis was one of the brightest minds in the industry, but by the end, he was a nightmare at the draft table. Cover your eyes: Here are Oakland’s last five first-round picks on Davis’ watch:

2007: QB JaMarcus Russell (No. 1 overall)

2008: RB Darren McFadden (No. 4)

2009: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (No. 7)

2010: LB Rolando McClain (No. 8)

2011: None (traded to New England for DT Richard Seymour)

Oof. Russell, of course, turned out to be one of the greatest busts in NFL history, not to mention a connoisseur of the finest purple drank. McFadden (4.2 yards per carry) has skills, but is injury-prone and only started seven games last year. Heyward-Bey is now a member of the Indianapolis Colts after four disappointing years in the Silver and Black. McLain was cut last offseason after a series of arrests – he retired and went back to the University of Alabama to finish his degree. Seymour was also released in 2013.

That’s a mighty big Black Hole the Raiders have dug themselves. And it could be a while before they escape: Reggie McKenzie, who took over the reins in 2012, was ranked No. 29 out of 32 league GMs by Rotoworld earlier this summer. Better give Allen another hug.

NFL Pick: Take the Packers –7 (–105) at The Greek

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