Packers vs. Raiders NFL Picks: Capper Expects High-Scoring Game at Oakland

Ted Sevransky

Friday, December 18, 2015 7:14 PM GMT

For this Sunday we head to Oakland when the Raiders will host the Green Bay Packers, NFL odds have come with reasonable numbers for this game, let's focus our attention on betting the total.

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NFL Pick: Over 48
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

 

Green Bay Packers vs. Oakland Raiders
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has earned his reputation as an elite level play caller. McCarthy got this head coaching gig in the first place due to his success as a play caller in New Orleans and San Francisco. And for most of his tenure with the Packers, McCarthy called the plays for Aaron Rodgers and company. 

But last offseason, he decided to give the play calling responsibilities to associate head coach Tom Clements. That transition did not go particularly well, as clearly evidenced by the Packers 9-4 mark to the Under this year, a track record of Unders that has come despite Green Bay’s defensive mediocrity (right at the league average in yards-per-play allowed).

In 2014, the Packers led the NFL, averaging 6.1 yards per play. They ranked #6 in 2013, averaging 5.9 yards per play, despite the fact that Rodgers missed extended playing time due to injury. In fact, four times in the previous five seasons, Green Bay ranked among the Top 6 offenses in the NFL on a yards per play basis.  But not this year!  Green Bay enters Week 15 tied for 21st in the NFL, averaging only 5.3 yards per play, below the league average!

McCarthy relieved Clements of his play calling duties prior to their three TD win over Dallas last week, and the result of that transition was immediately obvious to Packer fans and supporters – Green Bay called the right plays at the right time, keeping the Cowboys defense off-balance throughout. The result? 

A balanced offense that gained 200+ yards both on the ground and through the air! The Packers scored four TD’s in five red zone tries, the lone failure coming early when they failed to convert on a 4th and goal from the one yard line. Green Bay didn’t turn the ball over and they dominated the time of possession by a nearly 2:1 margin. 

The Packers success last week and comfort level with McCarthy’s play calls is not good news for the Raiders defense. Oakland faced a second tier QB in Brock Osweiler last week, on the heels of facing Alex Smith, Marcus Mariota, Matthew Stafford and Teddy Bridgewater in their previous four games; nary an elite signal caller in the bunch.  In their last two games against upper echelon QB’s, the Raiders allowed 38 to Pittsburgh and 29 to San Diego. No surprise here if the Packers approach or exceed those numbers.

But this is absolutely a step-up spot for the Raiders offense following a subpar fourth quarter against KC and an eight first down effort in Denver last week. Green Bay isn’t expected to have shutdown corner Sam Shields on the field, as he goes through the concussion protocol. Despite his struggles, Carr has still thrown seven TD passes over the last three weeks, and the Raiders receiving corps remains a better than average unit. Look for the Raiders to trade scores with the Packers in late action on Sunday, leading to a relatively high scoring affair. Take the Over as the NFL pick against the NFL odds.