Raiders Preview: As Home Underdogs Against Vikings, Las Vegas Has A Chance To Make A Statement

Raiders Preview: As Home Underdogs Against Vikings, Las Vegas Has A Chance To Make A Statement

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I have to imagine that on Monday morning, when the Las Vegas Raiders got back into the facility after a week off that at some point Antonio Pierce shared this message:

The disrespect is real.

This Sunday, the Raiders are hosting Josh Dobbs and the Minnesota Vikings — the same Vikings who have lost two in a row, including an embarrassing 12-10 loss at home to the Bears last week. And yet, the Vikings are favorites on Sunday.

Raiders coming off a bye? Doesn’t matter.

Is Joshua Dobbs crashing back down to earth? Doesn’t matter.

Home field advantage for the Raiders? Doesn’t matter.

Like I said: the disrespect is real.

The question is, however, whether Sunday’s performance will validate the oddsmakers or prove them wrong.

For Pierce, I think you could make the case that the next two weeks will tell you everything you need to know about his future as a coach. How his team looks coming off of a bye against a beatable opponent will speak volumes about his competency as the guy in charge — as will a short week game against the Chargers just a few days later. Win these two, and I think Pierce becomes the favorite to keep the job — but anything short of that and I think he finds himself on the outside looking in.

Onto the picks… (courtesy of BetOnline.AG)

Last Week: 2-3, -1.15u; Season: 30-31-1, +0.37u

Alexander Mattison, Vikings
Nov 19, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Mattison UNDER 49.5 rushing yards (+100)

I know Mattison has been the lead back for Minnesota, but Ty Chandler has been surging recently and could start to peck away at some of those carries. That plus a Raiders run defense that has been solid has me leaning under here.

Jakobi Meyers, Raiders
Sep 10, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (16) catches a touchdown pass with Denver Broncos cornerback Damarri Mathis (27) defending in the first quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Jakobi Meyers OVER 41.5 receiving yards (-110)

Myers’ over was one of our two wins last Sunday, and I continue to like him as a sneaky producer again this week. Antonio Pierce continues to go out of his way to mention Myers, and as teams put all of their attention on stopping Davante Adams, I think Myers will get somewhere in the ballpark of 50 yards on Sunday.

Josh Jacobs, Raiders
Nov 26, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (8) celebrates after scoring on a 63-yard touchdown run against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Jacobs UNDER 72.5 rushing yards (-110)

My initial lean here was to find a Jacobs over I liked, but the more I thought about it, the more my mind was changed. The Vikings have the seventh-best rush defense in the league (96 yards per game allowed) and have been even better over their last three (76.3) — and most of that was Justin Fields running from the quarterback position! Add in the fact that Raiders’ left tackle Kolton Miller is out for this one, and I think it’ll be tough sledding for Jacobs so I’m leaning under.

Aidan O'Connell, Raiders
Nov 26, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell (4) throws the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Aidan O’Connell OVER 0.5 interceptions (-120)

Under-manned offensive line and some internal pressure to get rid of the ball could lead to some bad decisions from O’Connell (who I like), and so I like this number for one or more interceptions from the rookie.

Antonio Pierce, Raiders
Nov 26, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Game Total UNDER 40 (-110)

A bonus pick before we get to the spread pick, but my question is: where do all the points come from in this one? I’m selling my Josh Dobbs stock (admittedly at its low point), and so even with Justin Jefferson set to return from injury I’m not sure the Vikings offense lights up the scoreboard against a rested Raiders defense. On the flip side, I think the Miller injury is a huge deal for a team starting a rookie quarterback and so I like this game to stay somewhere in the 30’s.

Joshua Dobbs, Vikings
Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) passes against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings -3 (-105)

I’d obviously like it if this were a half-point lower, but I think the Vikings do just enough to eek this one out on the road. Jefferson is a difference-maker and will make a couple of huge plays against an under-manned Raiders secondary that give Minnesota the edge. On the flip side, I just can’t get past the loss of Miller — even with the extra week off. Give me the Vikings to win 20-16.

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