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DENVER, COLORADO - OCTOBER 17: Darren Waller #83 of the Las Vegas Raiders completes a catch against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at Empower Field At Mile High on October 17, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Justin Edmonds/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Justin Edmonds / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Las Vegas travels across the country to take on New York at MetLife Stadium in Week 9. We examine whether the visitors can cover the spread with our Raiders and Giants picks.

The NFL playoff race is heating up with the trade deadline in the rearview mirror. The 5-2 Las Vegas Raiders are in a critical moment of their season as they travel to face the lowly 2-6 New York Giants. The Raiders need a win to stay in the playoff race and are coming off their bye week.

Las Vegas has faced a lot of adversity halfway through its season. They not only lost their head coach after disgusting remarks Jon Gruden made in emails in the past but also 2020 first-round pick Henry Ruggs was released this week after killing a woman while driving recklessly. This is more than just what's happening on Sundays for the Raiders. Meanwhile, the Giants finally looked competent in a Monday night loss against the Chiefs.

Here are my picks and predictions for the NFL Week 9 matchup between the Raiders and Giants (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Raiders vs. Giants Game Info

Date/Time: Sunday, November 7, 1 p.m. ETTV: CBSLocation: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJWeather: 59 degrees, partially cloudy

Raiders vs. Giants Odds Analysis

The Raiders opened as 2.5-point favorites and the line has shifted slightly toward the better team. I'm shocked this line is so low even considering the travel distance and drama around the Raiders. They're legitimately good and have beaten worse teams consistently.

New York has put together their two best games over the last two weeks. They've earned some credit for performing despite injuries piling up, but this is still a young roster that lacks the skill to close out games.

Raiders vs. Giants Betting Picks

Raiders -3 (+100) ????Over 46.5 (-110) ??

SEE ALSO: NFL Week 9 Parlay Picks

Raiders vs. Giants Betting Predictions

Raiders -3 (+100)

The Raiders have been without several playmakers throughout the year and the status of Darren Waller is in the air for Sunday. Waller needs to play for this bet to be attractive. Otherwise, the Raiders' offense will be stretched even thinner.

With Waller and Josh Jacobs, the Raiders have created a top passing attack as Derek Carr is playing the best football of his career. New York's secondary has struggled despite the raw talent and is vulnerable to any decent quarterback picking them apart. I don't see how they'll match up with the Raiders and slow them down.

On the other side, the Giants' own injuries at receiver and lack of talent at quarterback have been glaring. Las Vegas has a solid pass defense and will stifle Giants' passing game. I don't see the Giants staying within a field goal of the Raiders as their offense continually bogs down in key moments.

Over 46.5 (-110)

Even if the Giants can't keep up on the scoreline, they can help push the total as they did against Kansas City. The Raiders' defense is vulnerable because they're not great over the middle. Daniel Jones must be relentlessly looking for zone holes or linebackers on slot receivers in order to take advantage.

A 28-21 game is absolutely possible, if not likely, considering how these teams have performed recently. I expect a competitive game that is worth watching and worth betting on.

SEE ALSO: Bills vs. Jaguars Week 9 Picks