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Raiders-Ravens: Great vs. Great, Mediocre vs. Awful

The Oakland Raiders didn’t start the 2016 as the online NFL betting favorites in the AFC West, but the odds weren’t exactly ruling them out. Now three weeks into the season, many fans are considering Oakland as a legitimate contender in the West. The only thing holding the Raiders from taking their division by storm is the gigantic problems they’re having on defense. Right now Oakland’s defense ranks at the bottom of the league in both total yards allowed per game with 476, and passing yards allowed per contest with 340. Their rushing defense is slightly better, but not my much. Entering Week 4 the Raiders are giving up an average of 136 rushing yards per game, which ranks them as the 30th worst defense against the run. It’s pretty obvious that the credit for Oakland’s 2-1 record belongs solely to their offense, but that sort reliance gives rise to an unnerving question for Raiders fans; how long can Oakland’s impressive offense carry their lackluster defense? The Raiders are currently preparing to face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4, what kind of odds are most football betting sites giving to the Raiders’ offense in this contest?

Week 4 – Sunday the 2nd of October

Raiders +4 (-115) 46 ½ (-110)
Ravens -4 (-105) 46 ½ (-110)

Despite Oakland’s impressive efforts on offense, Baltimore is still coming into this matchup as the favorite. While the Raiders offense has been carrying their team, ironically enough, the complete opposite is true about the Ravens. Entering Sunday’s contest the Ravens defense ranks second in the league for total yards allowed per contest with 254.3 and third in the NFL for pass yards allowed per game with 168.3. Equally as impressive is the fact that Baltimore is only allowing 14.7 points per game, which puts them as the 4th best defense in the league. On the other side of the ball the Ravens aren’t nearly as impressive. Behind Joe Flacco’s efforts, Baltimore is averaging 19 points per game and 324.3 total yards per contest, which ranks them 24th and 25th in the league respectively. During the first three games of the season Flacco has averaged a pitiful passer rating of 77.4, not what you would expect from a Super Bowl winning quarterback. The 9-year veteran has thrown for 3 touchdowns, but already has 4 interceptions to his name. To say that the Ravens defense has been carrying their franchise would be an understatement, but Baltimore’s offense has to be excited about facing a defense as poor as Oakland’s. But will that matchup be enough to peg the Ravens as online NFL betting favorites over the Raiders? After all, Oakland is coming into Sunday’s game with one of the best offenses in the league.

Right now the Raiders offense is 8th in points (26.7), 2nd in total yards (436.0), 8th in passing yards (287.7), and 2nd in rushing yards averaged per game (148.3). So far this season Derek Carr and Oakland’s offense haven’t been facing the fiercest defenses in the league. To open the season they faced the Falcons and the Saints, and both their defenses rank near the bottom of the league. Last week, the Raiders faced Tennessee – whose defense ranks near the middle of the league, so it’s safe to say that Baltimore will be Oakland’s first real test against a tough secondary. How they perform will determine their online NFL betting potential, as well as put them into the playoff conversation.