San Francisco 49ers (7-5) at Oakland Raiders (1-11)
The Raiders were absolutely destroyed in St. Louis last week, losing by the final score of 52-0, the biggest single game margin of the season. However, that actually puts them in a good spot to cover this week, as teams are 48-25 ATS since 2002 off of a loss by 35 or more. It might seem counterintuitive, but it makes sense when you think about it as teams are often overlooked, undervalued, and embarrassed in that spot. The Raiders aren’t undervalued (I have this line at 8.5, which is essentially where it is), but they will surely be embarrassed and they will almost definitely be overlooked. Adding to the likelihood that the 49ers will overlook the Raiders here is the fact that the 49ers have arguably their biggest game of the season on deck when they travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks.
The early line for that game has them as 7 point underdogs at the site where they lost the NFC Championship last year, against their most bitter rival who beat them last week. The 49ers will have one eye on that game all week in preparing for Oakland and that will show on the field. Favorites of 6 or more are just 46-80 ATS before being underdogs of 6 or more since 2002. Even worse, teams are 17-32 ATS since 1989 as road favorites of 4+ before being road underdogs of 4+. The only reason this isn’t a bigger play is because Oakland has Kansas City on deck where they will almost definitely be double digit underdogs and teams are 44-86 ATS since 2010 before being double digit underdogs. However, after what happened last week, the Raiders should be able to be focused on this game, given that they’ll be playing for pride against a hated local rival.
San Francisco 49ers 17 Oakland Raiders 13
Pick against the spread: Oakland +8