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The Raiders might be worse than they appear

BGN Radio Episode 220!

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Las Vegas Raiders v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

At first glance, it’s not hard to understand why DraftKings sportsbook has the Philadelphia Eagles as three-point road underdogs to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 7.

The Birds are 2-4. The Raiders are 4-2.

Philly is coming off two straight weeks of offensive ineptitude. Vegas is coming off their most decisive win of the season.

Jalen Hurts is playing like a bottom 10 quarterback. Derek Carr is playing like a top 10 quarterback.

So, Sunday’s game should be pretty cut and dry, then. The Raiders are the better team and they’re going to win. Right?

Perhaps not. A closer inspection reveals that the Raiders might be worse than they appear.

For starters, Las Vegas has the second-worst point differential of any team with at least four wins. Their +3 in net scoring isn’t astronomically better than the Eagles’ -15.

At least one advanced metric indicates the Eagles are actually the better team. Football Outsiders’ DVOA has Philly ranked 18th overall while the Raiders are three spots below at 21st.

How can this be? Well, it’s not exactly like the Raiders have the most impressive resume. Beating the Ravens in Week 1 was legit. But they trailed most of that game and almost choked it away in overtime. The other quarterbacks Las Vegas has beaten: Ben Roethlisberger (at the end of his rope), Jacoby Brissett (in overtime), and Teddy Bridgewater. Not exactly a murderer’s row there.

Of course, it’s hardly like Hurts inspires the most confidence right now. But the second-year quarterback might not have to carry the Eagles to victory. He might get some help like he did in the Panthers game. The Raiders’ interior offensive line is banged up and the Eagles are equipped to take advantage in order to rattle Carr. Other factors working in Philly’s favor include extra rest (having played on Thursday night in Week 6) and a crowd that will be wearing a lot of midnight green with Vegas marked as Philly’s best road trip game in 2021.

The Eagles might just be able to pull off the upset and keep their (slim) playoff hopes alive. The Raiders’ costume-wearing fans might be scarier than the team itself.


Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Eagles +3
    (440 votes)
  • 55%
    Raiders -3
    (541 votes)
981 votes total Vote Now

Jimmy Kempski and I talked about this game more on the latest BGN Radio podcast episode. We previewed the top matchups to watch and more.

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