Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans Preview
Where: Nissan Stadium – Nashville, TN
When: Sunday, September 10, 2017, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
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Betting on the Oakland Raiders (+140)
The Raiders are coming off their best season in 14 years as they went 12-4 last season. Derek Carr had an MVP-caliber year playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the league, but unfortunately, he broke his leg just before the playoffs.
Carr is back to 100 percent now, though, and is set to pick up where he left off. The line in front of him should be just as good, especially now that left tackle Donald Penn has ended his holdout, and the running game will be improved with the addition of Marshawn Lynch.
Meanwhile, the passing game figures to remain strong with receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Carr and co. have a good chance to have nice day as they face a Titans secondary that was culpable for the team’s disappointing ranking of 27th against the pass last season.
Defense remains the team’s big Achilles heel, though. Big free-agent signing Sean Smith struggled all season as the secondary as a whole was a big reason why the Raiders were just 25th against the pass per DVOA.
However, the back-end of that defense markedly improved when safety Karl Joseph was on the field. After an injury-shortened rookie year, Joseph should take another step up this season. Defensive end Mario Edwards, who missed virtually the entire season to injury, should also be a big boost to the pass rush opposite reigning Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack.
Carr and the Raiders are a perfect 2-0 in their matchups with the Titans over the last two seasons, with both coming on the road.
Betting on the Tennessee Titans (-160)
The Titans had an unexpectedly strong season in their first full campaign under Mike Mularkey. They finished 9-7, their first winning season in five years, on the strength of Mularkey’s “exotic smash mouth” offense which prioritized a strong power running game.
It certainly helped that the Titans had one of the best offensive lines in all of football working in front of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Rookie tackle Jack Conklin was terrific opposite Taylor Lewan, while the interior was also very solid.
Meanwhile, quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to get better. He threw for over 3,400 yards and had a 26-to-9 TD-to-INT ratio. Mariota is set to have a lot more receiving weapons this year with rookies Corey Davis and Taiwan Taylor, as well as veteran Eric Decker.
The defense remains a question mark, but they did try to address their weakness in the secondary this offseason. They added corners Logan Ryan and Adoree Jackson, as well as safety Jonathan Cyprien. However, it remains to be seen if that unit can come together quickly enough to be able to slow the explosive Raiders passing game down.
After a slow start, the Titans finished last season strong at home. They went 4-0 in their last four games at Nissan Stadium, and 4-0 against the spread.
The Titans finally find a way to protect home field against the Raiders. Tennessee (-2.5) wins its home opener, 34-31.
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