The final match of the first week of the NFL season is probably the most intriguing and eagerly awaited game as Jon Gruden makes his coaching return when the Oakland Raiders take on the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams are genuine Super Bowl candidates this year and have the first chance to lay down a marker for the campaign ahead. We may only truly know what lies ahead for the Raiders once this match is finished.
To say it has been a crazy few months for the Oakland Raiders since the end of last season is understating the issue. They have inserted the outspoken Jon Gruden as coach, signed some standout names to build up the anticipation for the season further and then seemingly undone all of that by letting Khalil Mack leave to open up a huge hole in their defence.
In among all the hoo-hah Jordy Nelson has been brought in to add to the plethora of offensive options available to Derek Carr. You get the feeling Oakland will be one of the higher scoring sides this season but their success or otherwise will be determined by how much they can control the opposing quarterback without Khalil Mack.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams have spent big on free agency in the close season and that makes them genuine challengers for the title this season. They have improved in all departments that they needed improving in as well as some which didn’t need the improvement and in a division which is getting weaker they now look like the standout side.
The likes of Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Brandin Cooks coming into to strengthen the backfield and give Jared Goff a new target to aim for are huge additions to the squad. The Rams weren’t a million miles away last year so that extra help coming in should see them strong if everyone can settle quickly.
Since the Khalil Mack trade the line on the Rams has gone from 3pts to 5.5 which is probably just about right given that the Rams are on the road and it is the first game of the season so I will leave that alone but there is one bet that does catch my eye.
It comes in the total points market which at 46 seems a little low to me. Goff should get plenty of time to pick out his receivers in this game and that could be crucial while Oakland’s offense looks in decent order and should put up plenty of points as the campaign goes on. I think the Rams will win this but I’m expecting the points to go beyond 46.
PUSH – Back Over 46pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Coral