The Oakland Raiders look for their first preseason win since September 2010 when they host the Detroit Lions on Saturday night.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is the venue for the 7:00 p.m. (ET) start. The Don Best NFL odds screen has had significant movement in both the pointspread and total. Detroit is a 3-point favorite after opening as a pick ’em, while the total is 44 after starting at 41.
There has been upwards movement on almost all the totals for Week 3 of the NFL preseason, when most starters play at least the first half. That was the case with the three played on Thursday night and two ended up going ‘over’ the closing numbers.
The Raiders have a new coach in Dennis Allen, but he hasn’t turned around their preseason futility yet. A 3-0 home loss to Dallas on August 13 was followed by a much higher scoring 31-27 defeat at Arizona four days later. They at least covered the spread in the desert as 4½-point underdogs.
Oakland is now 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in its last six exhibition games.
Quarterback Carson Palmer needs to improve from last year (80.5 QB rating) after being acquired from Cincinnati mid-season. However, he has to learn a new system with new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, and his combined stats the first two games (16-of-30, 140 yards, zero TDs and two INTs) haven’t been great.
Backup Matt Leinart hurt his right index finger last game and might sit. Former Ohio State Buckeye Terrelle Pryor will play a lot in the second half if Leinart can't go.
All the Raiders quarterbacks would prefer better health for their receivers, but Denarius Moore (hamstring) and Jacoby Ford (foot) are out and Darrius Heyward-Bey (shoulder) are each questionable for Saturday's contest.
Running back Darren McFadden will get a bigger workload this year with Michael Bush leaving for Chicago, especially around the goal line. McFadden had nine carries last week for 34 yards and was overthrown by Palmer on a sure touchdown pass.
Detroit started out the preseason with a 19-17 home loss to Cleveland as 3-point favorites, but looked much better last Friday on the road, a 27-12 win at Baltimore as 3-point ‘dogs.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford surprisingly struggled against the Browns, generating no points in three drives and having a pick, but looked in midseason form last week (12-of-17 for 184 yards, two TDs and no picks). Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson had 111 of those yards.
Shaun Hill is one of the better backups in the league and should continue to play well when he sees second-half action on Saturday. Former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is fighting for a roster spot, but doesn’t have the arm to challenge Hill.
Detroit should be very good on offense this year, despite a questionable running game. Help could come this week with Mikel Leshoure (hamstring) likely making his NFL debut.
Safety Louis Delmas (knee) and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (knee) should both be missing from an already questionable defense.
These teams met in Oakland last December in the regular season. Detroit trailed 27-14 after an Aaron Curry fumble return for a touchdown with 7:48 remaining. However, two TD passes from Stafford in the final five minutes pulled out a thrilling 28-27 win. He finished with 391 passing yards, spoiling a 367-yard effort from Palmer.