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Best NFL Lines for Week 7

Best NFL Lines for Week 7 – Oakland Raiders

by Matt Midlikowski

Welcome to the Week 7 edition of Matt Midlikowski’s “Best NFL Lines.” Throughout this article, an in-depth analysis of hand-selected games will identity the best NFL bets each week. The trend watch section offers the most important historical trends for each game. Finally, Matt touts one side of the game in the opinion section.

Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers (-5.5, O/U 47)

Game Overview

After Week 6, there is ample data and information available to analyze most NFL teams. The Green Bay Packers sit at 5-1 and look like a good bet to make the playoffs. However, they are beat up and facing a surprisingly interesting Oakland Raiders team. The Raiders are coming off a bye, while the Packers are playing on a short week. Green Bay faced a similar situation last week with Detroit playing on extra rest. That led to an against-the-spread loss for the Packers. Green Bay opened as 7-point favorites in the early Vegas action. That line has been trimmed to 5.5-points with some online sportsbooks moving to -5 in favor of the Packers. Injuries are a concern this week, as Davante Adams has yet to return to the practice field with a toe injury. It looks like he will miss his third consecutive game. Geronimo Allison is in the concussion protocol. With an additional chest injury, it is likely Allison sits out, as well. Marques Valdez-Scantling hit the injury list with knee and ankle issues on Wednesday, leaving Green Bay without a healthy starting wide receiver. Aaron Rodgers has not looked like his former-MVP self and is on pace to set career lows in passing touchdowns, completion percentage, and quarterback rating. Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have helped out in the passing game with a combined 35 receptions, but their workload suggests that Green Bay isn’t able to stretch the defense without healthy playmakers. Oakland is 19th in total yards allowed and 22nd in points per game. However, they are a top-10 run-stopping unit, so look for Rodgers to shoulder much of the responsibility on Sunday. Long down-and-distances have hurt the Packers, as they are converting on just 34% of third downs. After back-to-back wins against the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears, the Raiders sit just one game back in the AFC West. Jon Gruden has returned to a run-first approach, passing conservatively with Derek Carr hitting on 73% of his attempts. Josh Jacobs is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and Darren Waller is the top TE in the AFC with 37 receptions. The Raiders do not have an abundance of playmaking potential, but they are keeping the ball moving and enter this game inside the top-10 on third down, converting nearly 48% of the time. Their rush attack is eighth overall. Oakland is on the right side of the time-of-possession battle at nearly 31.5 minutes per game. Gruden is smart enough to keep the ball away from Rodgers any way he can.

Trend Watch

The Oakland Raiders are 5-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last 7 games immediately following a bye week.

The under is 5-1 in the last 6 Green Bay Packers’ games on Sunday following a Monday Night Football contest.

The under is 5-1 in the last 6 Green Bay Packers’ games when they face an opponent with a winning record.

The Green Bay Packers are getting 52% of all public bets as of Wednesday evening. The over is garnering 60% of the public action.

Matt’s Opinion

This version of the Green Bay Packers isn’t 5.5 points better than any team outside of the very worst in the league. Give them the standard three points as the home team, but everything above that feels like it might be too much. Rodgers and his two running backs are the only proven commodities in Green Bay right now, and that trio isn’t significantly better than the Carr-Jacobs-Waller trio. Oakland’s offensive line has allowed just eight sacks. They stand a decent chance of keeping Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith (13 combined sacks) at bay. This will allow Carr to work against the Green Bay secondary that just allowed 347 yards to Amari Cooper and Kenny Golladay. The Packers dropped to 23rd against the run. Oakland is going to keep this game close by keeping the ball on the ground. I think Green Bay ultimately improves to 6-1, but give me Oakland and the points as this game ends 24-20.