This game officially marks the first for Matt Patricia at the helm for the Detroit Lions. His speciality is defence and there’s lots of room for improvement in that department. The Lions finished 27th in total defence in 2017. The Lions arrived in Napa, California for joint practices against the Raiders on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a walk-through on Thursday, before Friday’s mathup with Oakland. Oddsmakers have the Raiders registered as 3-point favourites on the NFL odds board, with a total of 36 points.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
Last season the Raiders finished 0-4 during the pre-season, and 6-10 during the regular season. Head coach Jon Gruden is back with the Raiders for a second round and won’t accept that record this season. In their last 14 games overall, the Raiders were 3-9-2.These two teams last met on Nov. 22, as the Lions upended the Raiders 18-13. The Lions are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four meetings against the Raiders.
The Lions arrived earlier in the week and are carrying a bigger roster than what usually travels for an NFL team. Unofficially, the Lions have listed quarterback Matthew Stafford as the starting quarterback in this game with LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick listed as starting running backs. So far in camp coach Patricia has installed a 4-3 defence that at times will feature 6-7 defensive backs on the field at one time. That’s good news for cornerback Darius Slay who is quickly establishing himself as one of the best in the NFL. Last season Slay tied led the league with eight interceptions (tied with Kevin Byard). Defensive end Ziggy Ansah will not play in this pre-season game, but you could see him possibility in the third exhibition game, but one player expected to play is Devon Kennard. The 27 year-old hybrid outside linebacker can play the strong side position, or even placed on the line as a rush end. Expect big things from the former Giant this season.
Quarterback Derek Carr will likely get the home start against the visiting Detroit Lions. As the standout starter, he will likely play no more than two sets of downs for the silver and black. This year he will have a couple of new targets to throw to, as the Raiders signed former Pro Bowler Jordy Nelson and also former Steeler wideout Martavis Bryant. Both are expected to play the same amount of time as Carr. One player guaranteed not to play is pass rusher Khalil Mack. Mack is a training camp holdout and not expected to take part in the workouts or the game Friday evening. Adding to the drama, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported this week that the Buffalo Bills are pushing hard to acquire the star defensive player. Mack played his college at the University of Buffalo.