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Bills Will Ramp Up Pressure On Raiders In AFC Conference

October 26, 2017

The Buffalo Bills continued their impressive start to the season with a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last time out.

Sean McDermott’s men have won four out of their opening seven matches in the campaign. They can take another step forward in potentially ending their 18-year playoff drought with a win over the Oakland Raiders.

Buffalo were forced to dig deep against the Buccaneers last time out. Tyrod Taylor helped them establish a lead, only for Jameis Winston to lead a comeback in the second half. However, a late score from LeSean McCoy and a field goal from Steven Hauschka guided the club to their fourth win to keep pace in the AFC East.

The Raiders had a must-win contest against the Kansas City Chiefs last time out. The lead changed hands several times over the course of the contest, although the Chiefs appeared to take control in the second half.

Derek Carr led Oakland down the field late in the game. Jack Del Rio’s men needed a touchdown to secure the win, with a late strike to Jared Cook appearing to end the contest. He was ruled short at the one-yard line. Chaos then ensued as four penalties kept the game alive before Carr found Michael Crabtree for the match-winning score.

The Raiders were touted as a Super Bowl contender before the start of the campaign. They need to work extremely hard for the rest of the term to get back into contention. McDermott’s men can increase the pressure on Oakland with a victory, and enhance their own credentials in the AFC Conference.

We’ll now break down both sides’ start to the season and use the latest betting odds to break down the match.

Buffalo Bills

McDermott's men have started brightly

The Bills have been one of the surprise packages of the campaign. McDermott has performed above expectations in his first head coaching role, getting the best out of his roster to rack up four wins.

Buffalo can make a stride forward in their bid to end their playoff drought – which has loomed over the franchise since 1999 – by beating the Raiders. The club have produced some impressive victories thus far this term.

McDermott’s men have triumphed over the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons after entering both matches at underdogs. They’ve not been outstanding on both sides of the ball, but have produced complementary football to achieve the wins.

Their offense was on form last week as Taylor and McCoy combined to secure the victory. The Buccaneers’ exposed defensive defiencies to mount a comeback in the contest. However, Buffalo were able to produce the plays when it mattered the most to score 10 points in the fourth quarter to snatch the win.

It was an encouraging performance from the Bills, bouncing back from their defeat at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals before the bye. Defensively the club have been up and down this term. Lorenzo Alexander and Jerry Hughes have

maintained their high levels from the 2016 season. Both players were active around the quarterback last term and have combined for five sacks thus far in the six matches. Much will be expected of the duo to continue their form throughout the rest of the campaign to ease the pressure on the secondary.

Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde and Tre’Davious White have all played well, despite their limited experience with the club’s system. Should they continue to thrive in the secondary then the Bills could be on course for a successful season.

Oakland Raiders

Carr needs to find his form

It might be too early to suggest that the Raiders’ game-winning drive against the Chiefs was a season-saver. Although a loss at the hands of their AFC West rival would have given them a huge challenge in the second half of the term to repair the damage. Dropping to 2-5 would have been almost impossible to salvage along with a 0-3 record in the division.

Oakland displayed resilience to make crucial holds on defense to stop the Chiefs taking the game away from them. Khalil Mack produced an important sack of Alex Smith to thwart Andy Reid’s men.

Carr then led his side down the field and fired a strike to Cook, only for the officials to rule the tight end down at the one-yard line. After a series of penalties on both teams, with the game on the line on the final play Carr found Crabtree for the decisive strike. That touchdown could well have saved the Raiders’ season.

Carr has battled through a back injury to play in the last two matches. He has not been at his best this term as he has struggled to connect with Amari Cooper and Crabtree. However, Cooper displayed his best with a 200-yard outing along with two touchdowns.

Should the Raiders’ offense find their top form then they could mount a challenge in the second half of the season. Without Carr operating at the peak of his powers, Del Rio’s men will take a step back. Running back Marshawn Lynch has been a major disappointment, and his time with the club took another turn for the worst as he was ejected from the game against the Chiefs.

Betting Odds

The next contest could hint at whether Oakland are back to their best or whether the performance was simply a flash in the pan.

It should be an intriguing contest in Buffalo, but the Bills have a strong record at home this season, defeating the Bucs, Broncos and the Jets. The Raiders will have to rise to the challenge to play to defeat McDermott’s men.

The Buccaneers displayed that there are plays to be made against Buffalo’s defense. Cooper broke out for the first time his season against the Chiefs, with 200 yards and two touchdowns. He will have a chance to expose Buffalo’s rookie cornerback White on the flanks.

Should Carr and his wideouts connect in the way they did in the 2016 campaign, then they could be able secure a vital road victory. However, Oakland’s defense has issues of their own and unless Mack has a dominant outing they will not be able to stop Taylor, McCoy and company.

Therefore back the Bills for the win at odds of 37/50  with ComeOn. Given the unpredictable nature of the Raiders take the points of +1.5 with Oakland for the contest at 13/12  with 888Sport.

The two sides combined for a great deal of points in their respective matches last week. As a result, expect a similar contest in Buffalo – therefore take the over for 51.5 points to be scored at 39/20  with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

Buffalo Bills To Beat Oakland Raiders
Sunday 29th October 2017 13:00 ET (17:00 GMT)
Odds: 37/50

Take The +1.5 Points For Oakland Raiders
Sunday 29th October 2017 13:00 ET (17:00 GMT)
Odds: 13/12

Over 51.5 To Be Scored
Sunday 29th October 2017 13:00 ET (17:00 GMT)
Odds: 39/20

  • Buffalo Bills
  • Derek Carr
  • NFL
  • Oakland Raiders
  • Tyrod Taylor

    About the author

    Eric Roberts
    Eric Roberts

    Sports Journalist

    Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.