The Las Vegas Raiders (3-2) are on COVID-19 watch heading into their Week 7 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2). OT Trent Brown tested positive for the virus Wednesday and all other starting O-linemen were sent home. While they await test results, the game was pushed forward from Sunday Night Football to a 4:05 EST start at Allegiant Stadium to ensure the NFL has a Sunday night game. Below, we offer up betting picks for the moneyline, spread and over/under as the Buccaneers and Raiders meet in Week 7. We’ll also give the best prop bet.
Advice on the three main bet types is offered as either a “pick” or a “lean”. Picks are high-confidence recommendations based on the matchup and the odds at the time of publishing. Leans will be advised in anticipation of the odds and lines moving in either direction. Pertinent injury news or in this case, COVID news, can also affect line movement.
Buccaneers at Raiders odds
Buccaneers at Raiders picks: Moneyline
The Buccaneers are coming off an inspiring 38-10 throttling of the Green Bay Packers in Week 6 and lead the NFC South. The defense intercepted Packers QB Aaron Rodgers twice, including the tide-turning pick-6 early in the second quarter. Las Vegas comes off a Week 6 bye which allowed most players to get healthy before Brown’s COVID test. The Raiders shocked the NFL with a 40-32 road win over the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5.
With Brown placed on the league’s COVID-19 list this week, the availability of the Raiders’ four other OL starters looms large. The Bucs share second place in the NFL with 22 sacks through six games, and they’re first in ESPN‘s Pass Rush Win Rate. The Raiders are already just 22nd in the NFL with a Pass Block Win Rate of just 55%.
Additionally, the Raiders have been carved up by opposing running backs this season. RBs are averaging a modest 100.0 rushing yards per game but 7.0 receptions and a league-high 66.2 receiving yards. Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones has rung up three straight 100-yard rushing games; Leonard Fournette is expected to return from injury in Week 7. Tampa Bay should again be able to lean on the ground attack after QB Tom Brady threw for just 166 yards with two touchdowns in Week 6. The Buccaneers will also be able to neutralize the Raiders’ No. 1 target in TE Darren Waller, as they allow just 3.7 receptions and 44.0 yards per game to tight ends.
Back the Bucs as modest moneyline favorites on the road. They’ll move to 5-2 and stay atop the NFC South.
The pick: Buccaneers (-195 or better)
Buccaneers at Raiders picks: Against the spread
The Raiders are underdogs for the fifth straight game. They beat the Chiefs by eight points in Week 5 as 11-point dogs. In so doing, they moved to 2-2 against the spread when spotted points. They have two wins and two losses in those games.
The Bucs are 3-3 ATS. They covered by 31 points as 3-point dogs against the Packers last week. In their two games as favorites in which they failed to cover the spread, they lost outright to the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football (20-19) and beat the Los Angeles Chargers by 7 points as 7.5-point favorites.
Even without COVID-19 concerns for the Raiders’ offensive line, I’d be taking the Buccaneers as 4-point favorites. The Tampa Bay defense is better equipped to handle the Raiders’ top offensive weapons in Waller and RB Josh Jacobs. Las Vegas struggles to generate pressure against the pass and the run and will give Brady and Jones too much time.
The pick: Buccaneers -4 (or better)
Buccaneers at Raiders picks: Over/Under (total)
Las Vegas is 4-0-1 against the Over/Under and is one of just two teams without an Under result through six weeks. The Raiders top the point projections by 10.6 points per game with 30.2 PPG on offense and 30.4 PPG allowed. Tampa Bay is 3-3 against the O/U with just 20.3 PPG allowed and 29.5 PPG scored.
As noted above, the Bucs have been leaning on the running game and will favor a slower pace. The Bucs match up well against the Raiders’ top skill players; the struggling offensive line is likely to be bullied by Tampa Bay’s top pass rush. Take the UNDER on a modest primetime projection with fear of the Raiders being unable to generate their share of the required production. The Bucs have given up a total of just 30 points in their last two games.
The pick: UNDER 51.5 (or better)
Best prop bet
First to 30 points (+132 or better)
This is a nice profit opportunity while following suit of the above picks. The expectation here is for the Raiders to fall well short of their PPG average for the season. Tampa Bay will control the clock and should be able to win the field-position and turnover battles by getting pressure on Carr.
It’s also a second chance to exploit the sportsbooks’ over-correction on early-season Over results. The Under was the result in 10 of 14 games last week, including all three primetime spots.