Oakland Raiders (0-2) at Miami Dolphins (2-0)
The Raiders have started 0-2, while the Dolphins have started 2-0, but I have the Raiders about a point better in my roster rankings. The Dolphins’ wins have come over the Jets and the primarily Blaine Gabbert led Titans, while the Raiders’ losses came against the Rams and Broncos. All 4 games these two teams have played have been competitive, with the one exception on the scoreboard being the Raiders’ loss to the Rams, but that game was close into the 4th quarter before late turnovers.
This line, favoring the Dolphins by 3.5 at home, suggests the opposite, that the Dolphins are a little bit better than the Raiders. That might have been the case before the Dolphins lost guard Josh Sitton, arguably their best offensive lineman, for the season with a shoulder injury. The free agent acquisition made their offensive line look passable for the first time in years in the opener and the Dolphins’ offensive line struggled mightily without him against the Jets.
This is also a much more important game for the Raiders than the Dolphins, so I expect them to be a lot more focused. While the Dolphins are already 2-0 and have arguably their biggest game of the season on deck, a trip to New England to face the Patriots, the Raiders are desperate for a win and don’t have any upcoming distractions, with only a home game against the Browns on deck. Underdogs are 78-44 ATS since 2014 before being favorites (which the Raiders will be next week) when their opponent will next be underdogs (which the Dolphins will be in New England). I wouldn’t take the Raiders at 3 because we’re not getting enough line value, but they’re worth a bet at 3.5. They should be able to keep this one close even if they can’t pull off the upset.
Oakland Raiders 27 Miami Dolphins 26 Upset Pick +145
Pick against the spread: Oakland +3.5