The betting experts look like they have given up on trying to figure out the Seattle Seahawks and the Oakland Raiders.
The NFL betting lines on the Week 7 game between the Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos had Denver quarterback Kyle Orton dismantling the Raiders defense. In the end, the Raiders came away with a 59-14 win and one of the more surprising NFL scores of the week.
The Seattle Seahawks were a bit more in line with Week 7 predictions, beating the Arizona Cardinals 22-10 to take possession of first place in the NFC West. While the Raiders took advantage of a weak Denver run defense to score four touchdowns on the ground, the Seahawks shut down the Arizona running game with their second-ranked run defense. That will be the deciding factor in this game.
Raider Nation will be rabid when this game kicks off. If the Raiders went 2-14 for the season and those two wins were blowouts of the Broncos, Raiders fans would not complain too loudly. When the Seahawks were in the AFC West, these two teams used to have some spirited games. Though the rivalry is long since gone, the Raiders will still try to pound the Seahawks into submission.
The key to the Seahawks' fortunes is quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. When the Seattle running game fails to put the ball in the end zone, Hasselbeck has usually come to the rescue. Beating the Seahawks requires getting to Hasselbeck, and that is easier said than done. Hasselbeck is getting sacked an average of twice a game and he has remained consistent as the offense has faltered around him.
The Seattle offense is not a good offense, but Hasselbeck is making the parts work to their maximum potential. Without Hasselbeck under center, the Seahawks cannot win.
The Raiders will more than likely start quarterback Jason Campbell again as he presided over the Bronco blowout. But the Seahawks are getting to the quarterback almost three times a game on defense. Seattle has 19 sacks this season, and while that is not any cause for a parade, it is just one part of the Seahawks’ ability to disrupt the passing game. The Raiders offensive line has not been consistent, and in the early season it was downright awful. There is every indication that, against a quality pass rush like the one in Seattle, the Raiders offensive line will crumble.
The roars from Raider Nation will be loud when this game begins, but the Seahawks have just enough talent to calm those roars by the end of the first half. The wild inconsistency of the Raiders is a reflection of the emotional approach of their head coach Tom Cable. When the Raiders are good, they can be very good. But when the Raiders are bad, they can be extremely bad.
Unfortunately for Oakland fans and owner Al Davis, this Raiders team still prefers to be bad most of the time.
Pick: Seattle Seahawks, 27-13