Week 11 NFL Picks: Raiders vs. Lions Will be a Barnburner Sunday

Jason Lake

Thursday, November 19, 2015 2:10 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 2:10 PM UTC

The Detroit Lions broke a four-game OVER streak by throttling the Green Bay Packers last week. Will the UNDER be the right NFL pick versus Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders?

Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 18: 39-34-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 22-29 Total

You know you've entered a brave new world when 48 points is the largest total on the NFL odds board. That's the case this week, and at press time, that total belongs to Sunday's matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) between the Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders. Early bettors weren't impressed; they were pounding the OVER at an 88-percent clip after the total opened at 47.5 points.

We're leaning the same way here at the home office. Yesterday, we recommended Oakland –1 for your Week 11 NFL picks, based primarily on the clash between the outstanding Raiders offense and the quite awful Detroit defense. That's the driving force behind taking the OVER, as well. To the Pickmobile~!

The Kick Inside
Taking a closer look at Football Outsiders' DVOA numbers through Week 10, we have the Raiders offense at No. 6 overall (No. 4 pass, No. 18 rush) in efficiency, with QB Derek Carr sitting fifth at his position in passing DVOA – one spot ahead of Aaron Rodgers. We saw how much trouble Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers offense had last week with all their injuries, dropping that instantly-famous 18-16 decision (UNDER 50) at Lambeau Field. Carr and the Raiders don't have those injury problems.

They'll also be playing indoors this Sunday at Ford Field. We saw both kickers in that Lions-Packers game have trouble with the wind last Sunday. Conditions will be much friendlier toward Detroit PK Matt Prater and Oakland PK Sebastian Janikowski this week. The Lions, by the way, have the OVER at 3-1 in their home games thus far and 2-3 on the road outdoors. This will be the first indoor game for the Raiders (OVER 6-2-1) this season.


The Three Cs
As for the Lions defense, after beating the Packers last week, they move all the way up from No. 31 to No. 28 overall (No. 28 pass, No. 23 rush) on the efficiency charts. Note how their weakness against the pass matches with Oakland's strength. The 1-2 punch of wideouts Amari Cooper (50 catches, four TDs) and Michael Crabtree (51 catches, five TDs) has proved very difficult to beat.

Things would look even better if Detroit's No. 28-ranked offense weren't involved. But the Raiders are only No. 24 in defensive efficiency, and LB Aldon Smith just got suspended for a year, so he's out of the picture. As impressive as Carr and the offense has been, until this defense gets sorted out, the Raiders will be scrambling to win shootout games more often than not. The OVER is 3-0-1 in their past four games since the bye week. We like their chances of making it 4-0-1 this week.

Free NFL Pick: Raiders vs. Lions OVER 48 (-115) at Bovada

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