At last, Las Vegas fans can finally attend a football game as their Raiders play host to the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night. The pandemic put a damper on the Raiders’ inaugural season in Las Vegas, but now fans will be in attendance.
The Raiders enter the contest as a three-point online betting favorite or -150 on the money line. The comeback on Seattle is +130 and the totals are at 37½. The Seahawks have depth problems everywhere and the home fans’ energy should propel Las Vegas to a victory.
Seahawks: Uphill Climb Continues
Aaron Rodgers is not the only disgruntled high-profile quarterback. Russell Wilson expressed frustrations following last season’s disappointing end. The Seahawks opened the year as one of the hottest teams in the NFL but faded into an early playoff exit.
Seattle addressed Wilson’s callout by making some tweaks to the lineup, signing guard Gabe Jackson and tight end Gerald Everett while also plugging holes on defense. Several of these players, notably the rookies, could see action in this game.
Wilson may not play much as Geno Smith and either Alex McGough or Sean Mannion sees the majority of the snaps. Second-round draft pick D’Wayne Eskridge may also not play. Seattle will barely look like an NFL team given all its absences and shallow depth.
Raiders: House Advantage
Few teams shuffled their deck as much as the Raiders did in the offseason. The team lost several key players on both sides, but most damning are their losses on the offensive line. This team could be much worse than last season, at least on paper.
The team can still have a solid offense. Derek Carr is an underrated gunslinger and running back Josh Jacobs is a stud out of the backfield. Big name additions also include running back Kenyan Drake and wide receiver John Brown while the defense added defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and cornerback Casey Hayward.
The big question is, can the #Raiders O-line lay the groundwork for Jacobs and Drake.
Targets for Drake will be there though.
— Maurice Moton (@MoeMoton) August 6, 2021
Similar to the Seahawks, the Raiders have terrible depth, especially on defense. Most of their notable adds will barely see playing time as backups like quarterback Nathan Peterman and running back Jalen Richard get the brunt of the work. Still, the Raiders may overperform for the sake of their fans.
Pick: Raiders Open Strong
The Seahawks and Raiders have similar qualities. Both teams have great skill position players and questionable defenses. Seattle has an edge in its secondary while the Raiders have a deeper running game. But the NFL odds favor the Raiders because of the intangibles.
Peterman and Marcus Mariota should also be a better quarterback duo than Smith and whoever Seattle rolls out. Vegas’s offensive line has plenty of question marks, but the Seahawks’ pass rush remains a work-in-progress.
Seattle is also just 1-3 in its last four preseason games on the road. The Raiders won’t be able to sustain good games throughout the season thanks to weak lines, but this Preseason Week 1 will be an exception.
Pick: Raiders -3
Totals Pick: Fireworks
At 37.5 points, this game is behind only the Chargers-Rams game as far as totals go. Both teams have plenty of woes on defense and have just enough skill position players to exploit this.
The quarterbacks are also experienced enough to handle pressure. The Seahawks are still a top-tier offense and Shane Waldron will get plenty of room to unleash his creativity. The scoring should be one to watch here.