Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders (6-4) will try to bounce back from a bitter 35-31 home loss to Kansas City on Sunday night when they make their first trip to Atlanta since 2012. The all-time series is tied at 7-7 but Atlanta has won the last four meetings including a 35-28 victory in 2016 in Oakland in Week 2 when wide receiver Justin Hardy caught a deflected eight-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter for the go-ahead score.
Matt Ryan, who threw for three touchdowns in the contest, had his third-down pass for Tevin Coleman broken up but the ball bounced high in the air and Hardy caught it in the end zone to give Atlanta a 28-21 lead. Quarterback Derek Carr played well in that loss to the Falcons, completing 34 of 45 passes for 299 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Carr has been outstanding for the Raiders this season completing 219 of 314 passes for 2,431 yards, 19 touchdowns and three interceptions. He has been helped by the surprisingly strong play of an offensive line that most of the season has been without two starters in right tackle Trent Brown (COVID-19) and left guard Richie Incognito (Achilles) but still has paved the way for Josh Jacobs to rush for 755 yards and nine touchdowns.
The defense is allowing 385.8 yards per game and missed defensive end Cle Ferrell in the loss to the Chiefs, who rushed for 108 yards and three touchdowns. Ferrell, sidelined by COVID-19, could be back Sunday. Maxx Crosby, the team’s other starting defensive end, has six of the Raiders’ 11 sacks this season.
The Falcons (3-7), last in the NFC South, limp in off an ugly 24-9 loss at New Orleans. Ryan was sacked eight times and took 11 quarterback hits while completing just 19 of 37 passes for 232 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating of 48.5 was his lowest since a 47.2 pass rating in a 27-13 loss to Arizona on Oct. 27, 2013.
Despite the poor outing at New Orleans, Ryan still ranks third in the NFL with 2,978 passing yards. He needs just 22 more yards Sunday to become the eighth quarterback in NFL history with 11 consecutive seasons with 3,000 or more passing yards. However, he could be without seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones (45 catches, 677 yards, three TDs) who interim coach Raheem Morris said would be a game-time decision with a hamstring injury.
Atlanta’s defense has limited opponents to just 102.8 yards rushing per game, which ranks ninth in the NFL and should get a boast with the return of defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. from the COVID-19 list. Linebacker Foyesade Oluokum leads the team in tackles (69) and has also forced three fumbles. Three players have at least three sacks, led by linebacker Deion Jones (3.5) while corner Blidi Wreh-Wilson tops the team with two interceptions.
Raiders at Falcons Betting Pick for Week 12
After going 2-1 in three consecutive games against AFC West opponents and almost getting a sweep before the late loss to the Chiefs, Las Vegas must avoid a letdown with back-to-back road trips to Atlanta and New York to face the winless Jets (0-10).
Head coach Jon Gruden is trying his best to keep his team focused, calling Atlanta “the best 3-7 team I’ve ever seen.” Still, the turnaround after a tough, emotional loss to the reigning Super Bowl champs followed by a three time-zone trip east and an early kickoff (10 a.m. PT) won’t be easy.
Atlanta has won four in a row in the series with the last Raiders win coming on Nov. 26, 2000 in Oakland, 41-14 behind the play of quarterback Rich Gannon, who threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 64 yards. The Falcons are just 1-4 at home this season with the lone victory coming two weeks ago against Denver 34-27.
Still, they figure to take advantage of a weak Las Vegas secondary and pass rush that is allowing 273.6 yards per game, fifth-worst in the NFL.
Raiders at Falcons Betting PickRaiders 35, Falcons 28
Raiders at Falcons Best Bet for Week 12
Neither team figures to be able to stop the other, especially if Jones plays, which makes the fact the opening total of 56 has been bet down to 54 a little baffling. The Raiders are 6-1 to the over in their last seven games against a team with a losing record and are 4-1 to the over in their last five games on the road, with the lone exception a 16-6 win at rainy and windy Cleveland on Nov. 1.
Raiders at Falcons Best Bet: OVER 54 total points (-106)