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Oakland Raiders vs. Buffalo Bills Point Spread - Pick

Oakland Raiders (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (4-2 SU, 4-1-1 ATS)
Week 8 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: New Era Field, Buffalo, New York

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: OAK +2.5/BUF -2.5
Over/Under Total: 45.5

The Oakland Raiders come to New Era Field for a week 8 matchup with the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Oakland had a much-needed positive development occur on Thursday Night Football, with a last drive resulting in a TD to get a huge 31-30 win over division foe and longtime tormentor Kansas City. Now at 3-4 and still in atonement-mode after the rough start, the Raiders look to go to .500 in a tough road spot against a Bills team that pulled out a victory in week 7 with a 30-27 win over the Buccaneers. Scoring twice in the game's final 2:28 to pull a win out of the jaws of defeat was a another good development for a Bills team that looks pretty good heading into week 8.

Oakland really needed the big win against Kansas City and that wasn't an easy spot to be in—needing a win against a team they haven't beaten in five tries that was also looking to come back strong after a loss of their own. Derek Carr gets big kudos for rallying his team back in a bizarre final sequence that saw regular time extended two extra plays due to KC penalties. On the second one, Carr zipped the ball into Michael Crabtree for the tying TD, with the extra point sealing it. Maybe it's the kind of big win that can pump wind in what were the sagging sails of the Raiders.

Without Carr, we saw a Raiders team that looked pretty ineffective. With Carr, they have a capable guy to lead this offense who has a flair for big plays late in games. He gave the whole team a boost and going back to last season, they always seemed to come up with the right answers late with him behind center. On Thursday, he threw for an immense 417 yards. More importantly, he was able to awaken the sleeping giant in receiver Amari Cooper, who had been strangely-quiet over the last several games. He caught 11 balls for 210 yards and a pair of TD catches. Crabtree had the key catch, with TE Jared Cook big with 107 yards and a huge catch late to get them close on the final drive. DeAndre Washington had some nice runs and will look for more this week with Marshawn Lynch suspended after an altercation with a referee. On Thursday, we saw the offensive line able to protect Carr, who was not sacked, while there were no turnovers.


The Oakland defense is not going to be a major asset to this team more likely than not. They are working with different packages in the secondary and it's been a struggle to find the right answers, with injuries also playing a role. On the season, the Raiders have still failed to secure an interception. The addition last week of NaVorro Bowman could pay off, as the veteran linebacker can still play at a high level. Khalil Mack, the defending Defensive Player of the Year, could certainly use another force to take some of the pressure. The line can be effective against the run at times, but the pass-rush has been lacking outside of Mack and LB Bruce Irvin.

The Bills got good performances on both sides of the ball on Sunday, especially late. Under Sean McDermott, the Bills look to have stumbled onto a good formula for success. Late on Sunday, LeSean McCoy scored a late TD, helping atone for a costly fumble earlier. Then, rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White stripped and recovered a fumble, which eventually set up the go-ahead field goal, which Steven Hauschka hit from 30 yards to take the win. Having just come off the bye, Buffalo is nice and dug in at home, looking for another win in their second home game in a row.

The Buffalo offense got good performances from QB Tyrod Taylor and star back LeSean McCoy, who had two touchdowns on the day with 91 yards. Taylor got some surprise performances from new contributors on this side of the ball, including newly-signed Deonte Thompson, who had 107 yards receiving, including a key 44-yard catch. Former Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas, now a tight end, caught a 22-yard TD throw from Taylor. Also, young tight end Nick O'Leary had some big catches on the day. Taylor also had some good runs on Sunday, as did Mike Tolbert. There isn't a lot of star-power on this offense outside of McCoy, but young talent is beginning to surface and they put up a respectable 434 yards of total offense on Sunday.

The Buffalo defense has had better games than what we saw on Sunday. They gave up a lot to Jameis Winston, with a handful of big plays on the day. They were good against the run, but a lot of guys in the Tampa air-attack had big games. There were key plays, however, that shifted the game in Buffalo's favor, with the defense having a big say in matters. Buffalo got three turnovers, as Matt Milano had a pick, with the big strip late by White being critical. Preston Brown and Lorenzo Alexander were again big in the middle. And the 27 they gave up to Tampa is 7 points higher than their season-high, as they are still giving up under 17 points a game on average, among the best in the league.

This is a tough spot for both teams. We saw the Oakland desperation resonate last week. Now with a little momentum, they should prove to be a handful for the Bills. But this isn't the typical Bills doormat in which we have become accustomed. They can run the ball, with different offensive players starting to get involved, while playing good defense. That can be a handful for every team. Still, we see the Raiders getting it done and covering the spread this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Oakland Raiders plus 2.5 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Raiders vs. Bills game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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