Lions vs Raiders Preview & Free Pick – Preseason [Week 1]

Detroit (0-0) at Oakland (0-0)
When: Friday, August 10th 2018
Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Time: 10:30 ET | TV: NFL Network
Opening Odds: Oakland -3/36

Chucky is back! Former Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is back with the Silver and Black for a second run and begins his quest for another Super Bowl ring when his team takes the field against the Detroit Lions in Week 1 preseason action. Gruden signed a 10-year, $100 million contract to replace Jack Del Rio, who guided the Raiders to a 6-10 record after reaching the playoffs the year before. The Lions also bring a new coach to the 2018 season, as Matt Patricia replaces Jim Caldwell. The former New England Patriot defensive coordinator will try and improve the Lions’ 27th-ranked defense from a year ago and them back into the postseason. The Lions arrived in Napa, California at the beginning of the week for joint practices against the Raiders on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a walk-through on Thursday, before Friday’s matchup at the Coliseum. Last season the Raiders finished 0-4 during the preseason, while Detroit finished 2-2 with a +12 point differential. The Lions are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four meetings against the Raiders.

The Lions have listed quarterback Matthew Stafford as the starting quarterback for this game with LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick listed as starting running backs. Neither of these players are expected to play more than two series, so look for Jake Rudock and Matt Cassel to take most of the snaps under center. Detroit will also feature 6-7 defensive backs on the field at one time in Patrica’s new scheme. Defensive end Ziggy Ansah will not play in this contest, but Devon Kennard should. The Lions are expecting big things out of the former New York Giant at inside linebacker this season.

Derek Carr should get the start and will have two new weapons to throw to this season after 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 – about two series. One player guaranteed not to play is pass rusher Khalil Mack, who is a training camp holdout and not expected to take part in the workouts or the game Friday evening. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported this week that the Buffalo Bills are pushing hard to acquire the star defensive player, who played his college ball at the University of Buffalo.

I’m not sure how Gruden will do during a 16-game regular season schedule with his old-school philosophy, but the level of excitement is high right now in Oakland, and players love playing for him – at least for now. I like Oakland at home here.

Pick: Raiders -3

Betting Trends:

  • Lions are 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 games on grass.
  • Raiders are 3-9-2 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
  • Raiders are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
  • Under is 24-11 in Lions last 35 road games.
  • Under is 4-0 in Raiders last 4 home games.
  • Under is 7-0 in Raiders last 7 games overall.
  • Under is 7-0 in Raiders last 7 games on grass.
  • Lions are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
  • Underdog is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
  • Home team is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.