Raiders +3.5 is Our NFL Pick Against Seahawks' Backups

Jason Lake

Thursday, September 3, 2015 12:13 AM GMT

So much for Pete Carroll's mastery over the preseason. His Seattle Seahawks are 1-2 ATS this year, but Jack Del Rio's Oakland Raiders haven't beaten the football odds either.

It's only three games, three preseason games at that. But if you're a fan of the Seattle Seahawks, you probably feel a bit nervous about the upcoming 2015 campaign. Sure, the Seahawks are on top of the Super Bowl futures market at press time – except at Bovada, where the Green Bay Packers have jumped ahead of Seattle on the NFL odds list. But after three exhibition games, the 'Hawks are 1-2 SU and ATS.

So are the Oakland Raiders. These two West Coast teams will wrap up the preseason Thursday night (10:00 p.m. ET) in the Emerald City, and the football odds are on the home side with Seattle laying 3.5 points. Normally we'd be happy to put our money on Pete Carroll, who was 25-11-1 ATS in exhibition play going into the new season. However, new Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was 20-14-2 ATS with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and his team has something Carroll's doesn't, something that matters particularly for Week 4.

 

How Deep Is Your Love?
We're talking quarterback depth, of course. Seattle's preseason went south when No. 2 QB Tarvaris Jackson suffered a high-ankle sprain in the first game against the Denver Broncos. Third-stringer R.J. Archer has performed reasonably well, throwing a TD pass without any picks, but do you want to put your money on him?

Carroll won't divulge yet who'll be playing quarterback on Thursday, but don't be surprised if Russell Wilson gets a series in before giving way to Archer. Wilson played the preseason finale in each of his first three years in the NFL, all against the Raiders, and Seattle went 2-1 SU and ATS. But that's when they had backups like Jackson and Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor helping out.

 

Pulling McGloin
Del Rio, meanwhile, has three good back-up quarterbacks – although one of them is Derek Carr, who will be starting Game 1 of the regular season. Again, Del Rio doesn't seem too interested in telling us how much his first unit will play, but as long as Christian Ponder and Matt McGloin are part of the picture, Oakland will have a considerable edge in Thursday's matchup.

To give us some kind of hint as to Del Rio's plans, let's travel back in time to his days in Jacksonville, which ended in 2011. He definitely seems to take Week 4 seriously, going 7-2 SU in those games, and like Carroll, Del Rio wasn't shy about using his starting quarterbacks. This gives us the added confidence we need to recommend Oakland for your NFL picks this week. We joked about Carr just now, but he's a young QB who's developing a rapport with his offense, an offense that has made some upgrades from last year's No. 30-ranked tire fire. It's the Raiders and that magical extra half-point for us.

Free NFL Pick: Take the Raiders +3.5 (–110) at bet365

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