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Oakland Raiders vs. Philadelphia Eagles Point Spread - Pick

Oakland Raiders (6-8 SU, 4-8-2 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (12-2 SU, 10-4 ATS)
Week 16 NFL
Date/Time: Monday Night Football, Christmas Day, December 25, 2017 at 8:30PM EST
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: ESPN

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: OAK +9/PHI -9
Over/Under Total: 47.5

The Oakland Raiders come to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football. The Raiders lost their last two games, including a tough loss to Dallas on Sunday night. Going for the winning-score with time running out, Derek Carr reached for the pylon, but the ball was lost through the end zone and Dallas took over. They are now out of playoff contention, a bitter pill to swallow for a 12-4 team from last season. They now come into Philly to take on a 12-2 Eagles' team that is trying to forge a new identity after losing Carson Wentz. It wasn't easy against a bad Giants team, but a 34-29 win in their third straight road game was enough and they now return home for their next two games, starting with this MNF appearance.

The Eagles worked hard to become the team to beat in the NFC. And while losing Wentz does cast a new light on things, Nick Foles is a capable backup who should be able to at least give the Eagles offense a chance to thrive in Wentz's absence. They still have the inside-track for the top-seed in the playoffs and want to keep it that way. Coming off a draining run of games and a prolonged road-sequence, they get the Raiders and Cowboys at home to close out the season. Seeing what they can come up with this week should offer more answers.

The Philly offense wasn't bad on Sunday in their first effort without their starting quarterback. Foles was 24-for-38 with four TD throws and no interceptions. He was able to hit Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz, and Trey Burton with TDs. The run-game wasn't great with Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, and others not really getting untracked on Sunday. That's a part of their game that could be put to better use moving ahead. But throwing four touchdowns is a nice development in Foles' first start this season.

The Eagles' defense really had their hands full with a Giants' offense that was really loose and letting it swing from the hip on Sunday. Eli Manning threw for 434 yards with the Giants' offense putting up over 500 yards of offense against this bunch. It was a weird look for a defense that has been pretty stout this season. Brandon Graham had a sack and Ronald Darby picked off a Manning pass, but this would be a bad time for the defense to start regressing and with 64 points allowed in their last two games, it's definitely something to watch as they start to get ready for the postseason. Seemingly every season, a red-hot team has some bad things happen to make them a spent force as the playoffs begin. Last season it was the Raiders. Look for the Eagles in the next two weeks to work on that not happening to them.

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For Oakland, it just didn't work out this season. The reasons are multifold and not attributable to any one thing, but both sides of the ball saw a reduction in their overall powers this season. An offense that looked to be a growing unit was supposed to be better this season and they were definitely worse. Injuries didn't help, but they weren't terribly-resolute in the face of those issues, either. A team that was reliable late in games has become undependable, as evidenced by them finding a way to lose the game in regulation against Dallas last week. And that's true on both sides of the ball. A defense that was able to make plays and play really well when the chips were in the middle has been dicey in clutch situations this season.

Numbers are down across the board on offense for the Raiders. And losing normally-durable LT Donald Penn for the season doesn't bode well for the stretch-run. Derek Carr hasn't been bad, but the line has been dicey and the run-game was a step below what they envisioned. Marshawn Lynch is nearing 700 yards, but it hasn't made that big of a difference. Tight end Jared Cook leads all receivers with 638 yards, as Amari Cooper (out) and Michael Crabtree were well off their 1000-yard form of last season. Cordarrelle Patterson's two touchdowns have been underwhelming. Things just didn't click on this side of the ball this season.

The Oakland defense is not a good one. They clamped down pretty good last week against Dallas to stage the comeback, which didn't materialize. When your top three tacklers are all defensive backs, it's not a good sign. The front hasn't been very strong this season. Khalil Mack is still a massive playmaker who would shine with better people around him. Bruce Irvin can make plays, as can veteran NaVorro Bowman. But they've been leaky against the pass and when the game is on the line, they seem to disappear more often than not, a stark contrast from the hard-nosed unit of last season.

In a weird way, Philadelphia losing Wentz provides more of a sign that they won't sag at the finish-line. Working in a new guy for the big playoff run doesn't afford them the chance to sit back and admire their handiwork with their margin for error. On the other hand, the closeness of their game against the Giants leaves some questions to be answered, even if their first game with New York was close with Wentz. It's just such a tough road-haul for a Raiders team that has to be feeling pretty crummy. But that spread is pretty big and I see Oakland keeping it respectable.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Oakland Raiders plus 9 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Oakland vs. Philadelphia game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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