Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders: Free NFL Preseason Week 1 Pick
Friday’s limited schedule in Week 1 of the NFL 2018 preseason schedule features an inter-conference clash between the Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders in a 10:30 p.m. (ET) start out on the West Coast. NFL Network will carry the game nationally.
The Lions managed to post their first back-to-back winning season since 1995 last year with a straight-up record of 9-7 to match their win total from the 2016 campaign. That was not good enough for a playoff spot in the highly competitive NFC. This means new head coach Matt Patricia will be tasked with raising the bar higher in the Motor City after completing a very successful stint as offensive coordinator in New England. Detroit went 8-7-1 against the spread in the 2017 regular season after posting a SU 2-2 record in the preseason while covering in three of the four games.
Matthew Stafford remains one of the most prolific passers in the league coming off his 4,446 passing yards in 2017. Marvin Jones Jr. led the way in receiving yards with 1,101 and Golden Tate had the most receptions with 122. The Lions were ranked sixth in the NFL last season in passing yards per game, but they ranked dead last running the ball.
Oakland snapped an extended losing streak dating back to 2002 with a 12-4 SU mark in 2016, but it slipped back to its old ways last season at 6-10 with a costly 5-9-2 record ATS. The backslide cost Jack Del Rio his job as head coach. This paved the way for Jon Gruden’s much anticipated return to the NFL coaching ranks following head coaching stints with the Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the early 2000’s.
Behind an offense that scored an average of 18.8 points per game in 2017, a bet on the total at BetAnySports for Raiders’ games paid off with 11 of the 16 games staying UNDER the closing line. Gruden still has quite a bit to work with on the offensive side of the ball with Derek Carr at quarterback and he used his first four picks of the draft building some depth up front on both sides of the ball with a pair of offensive and defensive linemen.
Defense should prevail on Friday night with many of the top skill players for each team riding the pines. Take the UNDER on BetAnySports’ inflated 36-point line in this one.