Welcome back to another edition of Gamble Ramble! With the Las Vegas Raiders’ playoff chances down to about one percent and the benching of Derek Carr, this week’s matchup with San Francisco will likely be tough to watch. With that in mind, let’s try to make things a little interesting. Here are three bets for Sunday’s action. All lines come via Draft Kings as of Saturday afternoon.
Smartest Bet: Raiders +9.5 (-110)
Betting on this spread is tricky. There is plenty of reason to believe that the Raiders just pack it in for the year and get blown out. This spread reflects that possibility. There are two things that we should keep in mind, though. First, winning by double digits in the NFL is really hard. Second, whenever we are certain about two teams, the NFL’s parity rears its head.
Given his decision to bench Carr, head coach Josh McDaniels has a lot riding on this game. While everyone else might not have much to play for, McDaniels has two games to prove that Carr was the problem and not him. Expect him to pull out all the stops to at least keep this game respectable. It should help that the 49ers have no clue what the Raiders’ offense will look like with Jarrett Stidham under center. Also, they don’t have anyone in their secondary that can cover Davante Adams. The Raiders will score enough to keep it respectable, and the defense should be able to avoid getting torched by Brock Purdy. Take the Raiders to keep it within 10.
Safest Bet: Christian McCaffrey to Score a Touchdown (-185)
This is free money. As we all know, the Raiders have struggled with dynamic running backs all year. This week, they get the granddaddy of them all in McCaffrey. The Raiders couldn’t have gotten him at a worse time. He’s only just getting his bearings on offense. Right now, McCaffrey is in that sweet spot where the whole playbook is open for him, but teams only have a small sample of film of him in this offense. McCaffrey is a lock to score this week. Honestly, it probably wouldn’t be a bad bet to pick him to score twice.
For those that are curious, the odds on that are +280.
Best Risky Bet: Raiders Moneyline (+360)
Just to be clear, the Raiders are highly unlikely to win this game. In fact, it is more likely that they get blown out. However, these odds are a little too juicy to pass up. As we mentioned before, McDaniels has his reputation on the line in these final games. On the other hand, San Francisco has the NFC West wrapped up, leaving little to play for. Maybe they overlook this game. Also, are we sure that Purdy is not about to come crashing back down to Earth? At the end of the day, this matchup is probably going to be tighter than we think. Given these odds, the money line is worth a long look.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/Don Wright