In the football betting world, the odds always tend to swing in favor of a team playing at home against a team who played on Monday Night Football the week prior.
On the field, reality tends to give some credence to the theory. A short week to prepare in the NFL is a challenge, especially considering the Raiders lost a very tough game at home, expended a lot of energy, and invested their heart and soul into it.
But this is supposed to be a new Oakland Raiders team, full of vim and vigor. Some new personnel have injected hope where very little existed prior. That has to count for something.
The question is, can they muster the strength and same sort of effort against the Chiefs on the road?
It’s a lot tougher than it sounds.
The prevailing thinking as to why the Raiders lost to the Chargers last week points to a fourth quarter prevent defense rather than sticking with the pressure tactics that had been working so well.
We have to question why the defensive coaching staff felt this was the right decision. It looked like they ran out of energy and were trying to simply to hold on.
As for the Raiders ability to score points, with JaMarcus Russell, Raider fans are just going to have to accept his inconsistency. He will make some great plays, but balance that with some misfires and INTs and what we have is a 50/50 quarterback.
The offense has some explosive capability with Zach Miller and Louis Murphy. Perhaps Javon Walker will get his opportunities as well.
Establishing the running game is essential so I would expect a heavy dose of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush.
Losing Johnnie Lee Higgins is a major hit to special teams.
A strength of the Raiders this season appears to be their defense. One of the keys to a win in Kansas City will be to getting to the quarterback, whether it be a fragile and undersized Brodie Croyle, Matt Cassell coming off injury, or a much improved Tyler Thigpen. Collapsing the pocket is essential and stopping the Chiefs running game has to happen.
The betting trend to go against a team playing on the road after a Monday night game has been mostly accurate over the years.
However, the Raiders have shown they can achieve the unexpected and buck the trend (at least so far this season) so it would be wise to give them a chance to do the same come Sunday.