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Oakland Raiders vs. San Francisco 49ers Point Spread - Pick

Oakland Raiders (1-6 SU, 2-5 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-7 SU, 2-6 ATS)
Week 9 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, November 1, 2018 at 8:20PM EDT
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: OAK +3/SF -3
Over/Under Total: 47

The Oakland Raiders make the short trip to Levi's Stadium to face the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football. Last week, each team lost again. The Raiders came off the bye and were beaten 42-28 by the Colts at home. The Niners, meanwhile, are now 1-7 after the Cardinals scored a TD in the game's waning seconds to beat them, 18-15. Just from the mere scheduling of this game on Thursday Night Football, it is clear neither team has come close to expectations. That is also attested by the team's collective 4-11 record against the spread. Entering 2018, hopes were high for both teams, but not anymore.

With the 49ers, they at least have the built-in excuse of having lost their QB of the future in Jimmy Garoppolo. Sure, even with Jimmy G in there, they were still working things out. And their issues go far beyond quarterback. With the Raiders, however, it's harder to pinpoint. The list of reasons carries on more with the Raiders. In either event, both teams look for a much-needed positive development this Thursday.

San Fran almost had it on Sunday and the way they lost has to hurt. But they're used to pain this season, so maybe it's a good sign that they could at least put themselves in a position to win. In a game where points were hard to come by, they led 15-3 in the fourth quarter. And for the first time in his NFL career, Arizona QB Josh Rosen looked like the goods, delivering a pair of last-quarter touchdowns to cinch the win.

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San Fran backup CJ Beathard has some upside and could improve, but seeing him there underscores how teams should gun hard for quality backups, especially if a QB's durability isn't established. He's simply not up-to-snuff as far as an NFL starter goes. They have good targets with WR Marquise Goodwin, TE George Kittle, and other up-and-comers. Matt Breida and Alfred Morris don't always hit, but are a good 1-2 punch in the right spots. And this might be one of them, against an Oakland run-defense that is absolutely putrid. When Philip Lindsay, Nick Chubb, and Marlon Mack are going over 100 yards against you, it's not a good sign. That's not exactly a murderer's row of backs.

It's hard to find much positive to say about the San Fran defense after how they gave it all away on Sunday. They have gotten healthier, with Richard Sherman, Jaquiski Tartt (questionable), and others back in circulation. But when you're dying for a win against a floundering opponent and can't hold on to a two-score lead, what else is there to talk about? But at the same time, they can be rigid in stretches and if they can establish some continuity from an injury-standpoint and get a little help on the other side of the ball, they are in fact a defense that is on the rise. But whatever playmaking element they have needs to materialize, as being negative-15 in turnovers already is abysmal.

The Raiders were in the game against the Colts, as Indy broke a tie with less than 6 minutes left in the game. This is typical of a Raiders team that seems to melt late in games and not just since Gruden came back, but ever since they were 12-4 in 2016. It's almost bankable at this point, as they will invariably come up short in late-game sequences with the chips in the middle of the pot. But Derek Carr did throw for three touchdowns and even ran one in. After a rough week in the press, maybe that's a good sign. But after trading away their best player on defense and their top receiver last week, one can understand the Raiders not being in a peak mental state.

Carr had a nice game, going 21-for-28 with 244 yards with no picks and three TDs. He is really meshing well with TE Jared Cook, but when the first aerial highlight you illustrate is a tight end, it doesn't speak well of your receivers. With Cooper gone, the fact remains that they are thin in that area. Lynch was having a pretty good season before going on IR. Doug Martin running for 72 yards on 13 carries against Indy was a positive sign, but the offense languished in stretches against the Colts, costing them the game.

We saw the price of a deficient defense again last week for Oakland. Again, they can't stop the run and San Fran looks to exploit that this week. But their secondary isn't that great either. They can get a little pass-rush, but the line gets pushed around with regularity. And their level of resistance in clutch situations seems to wane, a far cry from what they were a few years ago. They weren't a great defense by any means, but they'd register a key play and get a big stop when they needed it. They have six turnovers and are terrible on third down this season.

That doesn't mean they still can't win a game, especially at this level. Oakland has issues and is ultimately more future-oriented than anything, but San Fran has also bid adieu to any hopes they may have possessed for this season. Oakland's defense is certainly suspect, but I'm not sure the Niners are in a great position to pounce on that deficiency with their offense looking so languid. This seems like a game where having points is a good feeling. I'm taking the Raiders.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Oakland Raiders plus 3 points. Bet the Raiders vs. 49ers game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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