Lions vs. Raiders Odds & Picks: Trust Detroit on the Road?

Lions vs. Raiders Odds & Picks: Trust Detroit on the Road? article feature image

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones

  • The Oakland Raiders host the Detroit Lions as short home favorites on Sunday.
  • Our experts break down the betting odds and reveal their spread picks.

Lions at Raiders Odds & Picks

  • Odds: Raiders -2.5
  • Over/Under: 50.5
  • Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

Odds as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

The Raiders have spent more than 45 days away from their home stadium, but will be back in Oakland to face the Lions as 2.5-point favorites. As of Thursday, bettors are backing the Lions who are 4-3 against the spread this season.

Should you take the Raiders at home?

Our experts break down every angle of this matchup, featuring the biggest mismatch and a pick.

Lions-Raiders Injury Report

The Lions have some injuries of note, adding Tra Carson (hamstring) to the injury report on Thursday. This is notable after they released Paul Perkins earlier in the week.

If Carson is out, this could condense the Lions workload among their running backs. Cornerback Darius Slay (hamstring) was ruled out in Week 8 and has been getting in limited practices this week, suggesting he’s trending in the right direction.

Tyrell Williams (foot) returned to practicing in full on Thursday after finally returning last week, which is a good sign for the health of his foot issue.

The Raiders could be in big trouble on their offensive line since center Rodney Hudson (ankle) isn’t expected to play, and his backup, Andre James (ankle) also hasn’t practiced this week. This would cause a bit of a re-shuffle on their offensive line. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Lions Pass Offense vs. Raiders Pass Defense

In his first year with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, the gunslinging Matthew Stafford is having himself a bounce back campaign, ranking No. 1 with an 11.4-yard average depth of target (aDOT) and No. 5 with 8.9 adjusted yards per attempt.

And he has a strong collection of wide receivers.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Matthew Stafford (9).

Kenny Golladay is No. 7 at the position with a 16.9-yard aDOT and No. 3 with nine end-zone targets. He has gone for 100-plus yards or scored a touchdown in five of seven games this year and is a big-play machine.

Marvin Jones Jr. is less consistent than Golladay, but he’s tied for No. 12 with five end-zone targets, and only five wide receivers (including Golladay) have more touchdowns than Jones does with five. He’s averaging just 6.7 targets per game, but he’s doing a lot with a little thanks to his career-high 72.3% catch rate.

Danny Amendola has been an unexpectedly important contributor in the slot. He has just one touchdown, but he’s never been a big scorer, and even without regularly finding the end zone, he’s quietly on pace for the most prolific campaign of his career.

In three of six games, Amendola had 95-105 yards receiving and has exploited soft middle-of-the-field matchups when given the opportunity. He has a career-best 8.9 yards per target.

And Marvin Hall Jr. has contributed in spots as the No. 4 wide receiver. A field-stretching speedster, Hall has played about just 20% of the snaps over the past four games, but in that span he has 47, 58, 47 and 49 yards receiving. His outlandish 28.7 yards per target will regress, but with his athleticism, he has the potential to turn any target into a touchdown.

As a unit, these receivers have great complementarity and cohesion.

The cornerbacks they’re facing, not so much. The Raiders are No. 30 with a 40.8 Pro Football Focus coverage grade, which is both horrendous and potentially generous.

Without cornerback Gareon Conley, whom they traded last week, the Raiders are thin at the position: No. 1 corner Daryl Worley has below-average PFF coverage grades of 51.5 and 61.0 in his two seasons with the Raiders. Slot man Lamarcus Joyner has allowed a putrid 79.1% catch rate. And new starter Trayvon Mullen is a rookie with just 92 coverage snaps to his name.

As I noted in my Week 9 WR/CB matchups piece, each Lions wide receiver gets a large upgrade in this matchup. Any one of them — or all of them — could go off.

Coaches often don’t act rationally, but it would make sense for the Lions to attack the Raiders heavily through the air. They are without starting running back Kerryon Johnson (knee, injured reserve), so they should skew toward the pass anyway, and the Raiders have a funnel defense that ranks No. 9 against the run (-17.9% DVOA) but No. 29 against the pass (37.5% DVOA, per Football Outsiders).

Stafford has averaged 315.5 yards and 2.5 touchdowns passing over his past four games, and against the Raiders, he could exceed those numbers. — Matthew Freedman

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Raiders -1.5
  • Projected Total: 51

Expert Picks

Stuckey: Raiders -2.5 or Better 

The Raiders have a certain stigma surrounding them based on preseason expectations. People just refuse to believe that Jon Gruden actually has a pretty good team. It’s not great or a contender, but it’s not bad at all.

And despite an absolutely vicious schedule to start the year, the Raiders will return to their home stadium for the first time since Sept. 15 with a 3-4 record — they really should be 4-3 after last week’s game against Houston.

It starts with the offensive line, which despite dealing with injury issues all season, has performed at a high level throughout 2019. Per PFF, the Raiders have allowed a league-low 44 pressures (tied with Baltimore) and rank in the top three in overall pass blocking efficiency.

The injury to center Rodney Hudson hurts, but this is still a solid front. Plus, they will be facing a Detroit defensive front that just doesn’t excel against the run, ranking in the bottom five of the NFL in adjusted line yards, power rank and stuff rank, per Football Outsiders.

That’s not ideal against an offensive front that generates push in front of up-and-coming premier back Josh Jacobs, who’s breaking tackles on 28% of his carries and leads all running backs (min. 50 carries) in PFF’s Elusive Rating ahead of only Alvin Kamara and Chris Carson.

Jacobs should keep the Raiders ahead of the sticks all game and break a few long ones.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Josh Jacobs

Meanwhile the Lions don’t have much running game to speak of, especially after losing Kerryon Johnson to injury, and will face an Oakland defense that is decent against the rush, allowing only 3.7 yards per rush, which ranks fifth in the league.

And when Derek Carr does need to throw it, as I mentioned before, he should have time to do so in a clean pocket to find his receivers against a depleted Lion secondary.

The Lions traded starting safety Quandre Diggs to Seattle and may be without their other in Tracy Walker, who didn’t practice on Wednesday. That’s less than ideal, especially when your No. 1 corner and star lockdown man Slay is also dealing with a hamstring injury.

In regards to the total, it’s over or nothing in my eyes. Oakland should gash on the ground with Jacobs and through the air against a team that doesn’t get much pressure (26th in adjusted sack rate) with a depleted secondary.

And as my colleague mentioned above, Stafford and his bandmates on the outside should shred through the air against a Raiders team that gets almost no consistent pressure and struggles to defend in the secondary. Both offenses should shine on Sunday.

In a game where both teams should move the ball through the air, the difference will be the Raiders’ advantage in the run game. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]

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