Cincinnati (-9.5) 22 OAKLAND 15
Oakland has a horrible offense and replacing JaMarcus Russell (4.0 yards per pass play this season) with Bruce Gradkowski (4.1 yppp in his career) is not the answer. At least the Raiders are back to running the ball well with top lineman Robert Gallery back from injury last week along with fellow starter Cornell Green.
The Raiders have only had their starting 5 linemen for 3 games this season (weeks 1, 2, and 10) and they've run the ball for 4.8 ypr in those 3 games (against teams that would allow 4.6 ypr to an average team). Cincinnati is good defensively and the Bengals' offense is better than Oakland's defense even without RB Cedric Benson, who is having a very good season but is out this week with a hip injury. Benson is averaging 4.2 ypr and backup Bernard Scott is at 3.3 ypr on his 29 carries while newly signed former Chiefs RB Larry Johnson was averaging just 2.9 ypr for Kansas City this season.
Kansas City may have the worst run blocking line in the league and Cincy's line is about average, so I expect Johnson to average 3.7 ypr for the Chiefs - although he'll get considerably more than that against Oakland's horrible run defense (4.6 ypr allowed to teams that would average just 4.0 ypr against an average team).
My math model favors Cincinnati by 12 points after making all the adjustments for current personnel, but Cincinnati is in a huge letdown spot this week after beating divisional rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh the last two weeks.
Teams with winning records are just 24-65 ATS as favorites of 3 points or more when facing a losing team after winning and covering the spread in consecutive games against a divisional foes. Oakland, meanwhile, applies to a number of strong contrary angles, including a 40-6 ATS big home underdog situation. The situations are certainly worthy of a play if the line were more fair, but I'll still lean with Oakland plus the points. I'd consider the Raiders a Strong Opinion at +10 points or more and as a 2-Star Best Bet at +12 points.
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