The Oakland Raiders will look to extend their three-game winning streak this week when they venture to the east coast to take on the New York Jets. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, November 24 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Fans throughout California, the New York Metro Area, and in the Kansas City market will be able to watch the game on CBS.
The latest betting odds list the Raiders as 2.5-point favorites on the road. There is also an over/under of 46 points. Click here to check out all of the Week 12 NFL betting odds.
As mentioned, the Raiders head to the Meadowlands on the heels of a three-game winning streak. Jon Gruden’s team continues to be one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this season. At the moment, they are just half a game behind the idle Chiefs inside the AFC West. That means that with a win this week, the Raiders will pull into a tie with Kansas City, coincidentally before the two teams meet at Arrowhead Stadium next week.
Of course, it must be mentioned that all three of Oakland’s wins during their winning streak came at home. All three wins also came against losing teams, including a 17-10 win last week against the winless Bengals. The Raiders will now end their season with four of their final six games on the road. On the bright side, next week’s showdown with the Chiefs is their only game against a team that currently has a winning record.
Meanwhile, the Jets, believe it or not, are trying for their third straight win this weekend. The fanbase wanted Adam Gase fired after that embarrassing loss to the Dolphins a few weeks ago. However, the Jets have responded with back-to-back wins over the Giants and Redskins, getting them to 3-7 and ahead of Miami in the AFC East standings.
If the Jets can keep it going, they have a legitimate chance to keep the wins coming with games against the Bengals and Dolphins in the early part of December. That’s right, New York has a decent chance to get back to 6-7 heading down the stretch if they can take advantage of a favorable schedule. Of course, the small bit of positivity coming out of Jets camp these days will quickly disappear if they lose at home this weekend.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I feel good about taking the Jets in this game. Keep in mind that all six of Oakland’s wins this year have come by one score, so almost all of their games could go either way. I’m also expecting the Raiders to be a little sluggish with an early game on the east coast. That’s just enough of an edge for me to take a chance on New York as a home underdog.
The biggest thing that has me shying away from Oakland as a favorite is their defense. Despite having a winning record, the Raiders have allowed more points than they’ve scored this season. To be fair, the Raiders have managed to get stops or turnovers late in games, which is why they’ve won three in a row. But that’s a dangerous tightrope to walk and a trend that has to end at some point.
Even in their wins, the Raiders have struggled to get a handle on the opposing team’s running game. While the Jets haven’t run the ball well this year behind a dreadful offensive line, they still have Le’Veon Bell in the backfield. Despite a poor O-line, I like Bell’s chances of making a meaningful impact against any team that struggles to defend the run as much as the Raiders. If Bell can get going, it should help Sam Darnold, who is finally starting to settle in, throwing for 293 yards and four touchdowns last week against Washington.
Meanwhile, the Oakland offense has become reliant on rookie running back Josh Jacobs. Derek Carr has been efficient this year, but he’s still lacking high-level playmakers on the outside who can push the ball down the field. The Raiders need Jacobs to be productive to set up Carr and the passing game.
That could be a problem against the New York defense, which has been great at stopping the run in recent weeks. Just two weeks ago, Saquon Barkley was held to a single yard on 13 carries. Even good running teams like the Cowboys and Jaguars have been held below their season average against the Jets. Not surprisingly, New York’s defense has been vulnerable against the pass. But I’m not sure the Raiders have the playmakers in the passing game to take full advantage of that, especially if the Jets can keep Jacobs contained.
All things considered, it’s hard to buy the Raiders as a road favorite. There are enough concerns about their defense and a lack of dynamic playmakers to push me toward the Jets. Odds are, this will be a close game that could go either way. That makes me feel a little more comfortable taking the home underdog.