Week 4 features a Game between two of the lesser talked about teams over .500. The Raiders head to Baltimore with a 2-1 record. The Ravens have been one of the pleasant surprises of the early NFL season with a perfect 3-0 mark as they sit atop the AFC North. The Ravens are a 3.5 point favorite ACCording to betonline Sportsbook.
Credit Baltimore, they are undefeated after all, but it has come against one of the easiest possible Schedules to this point. They’ve won Games versus Buffalo, at Cleveland and at Jacksonville. Those teams are a combined 1-8 on the season. All three of those Games have been decided by one possession.
Similarly, the Raiders have been a part of 1-possession Games in each of their three contests. The lost their only home Game to the Atlanta Falcons but defeated both the Titans and the Saints on the road.
This Game features the NFL’s second-rated offense (Oakland) going up against the league’s second-rated defense (Baltimore). Ironically, when the tables are turned we see the NFL’s worst defense (Oakland) going against one of the league’s poorest offensive units (Baltimore).
Joe FlACCo has been largely mediocre so far this season. He’s throwing for a little over 250 yards per Game, but he’s thrown Four interceptions to his three touchdown passes and has been sacked six times.
FlACCo has solid targets, but nothing overly impressive. Dennis Pitta has 183 receiving yards. Steve Smith Sr. has 170. Mike Wallace has 166 and three touchdowns on only 10 receptions.
The running Game for Baltimore has been downright bad. TerraNCe West leads all backs with 119 yards. Justin Forsett has 98. The long run between the two is just 15 yards and neither one has scored a touchdown.
It really is hard to imagine how this team has found a way to reach 3-0, despite the easy Schedule. Heck, they trailed Cleveland 20-0 before scoring 25 unanswered points for the win. Baltimore has certainly been living on the edge.
Derek Carr has been excellent in the early stages for Oakland. He’s passing for just about 290 yards per Game, has thrown five touchdowns and has thrown only one interception.
Carr has an excellent duo to throw to in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. They have 270 and 220 yards, respectively. Crabtree has reached the end zone oNCe on the season.
LAtavius Murray, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington have provided just enough of a spark out of the backfield to give some else to watch for opponents. This team won’t be talked about much in the running Game, but these players have the ability to break some big plays because the passing Game is so good.
Oakland’s defense is truly hideous, but my bet is that the Raiders will also have plenty of opportunities to score. This one could easily be viewed as a tossup, but I’m iNClined to take the points and go with Oakland because Baltimore has been so close to losing against worse competition than they will see Sunday. FlACCo could really make things difficult against the Raiders defense, but I think Baltimore’s perfect season comes to a close this week. Raiders +3.5