Oakland Raiders (+7) & San Francisco 49ers To Battle For Bay Area Bragging Rights

October 16th, 2010 – by Alex

The San Francisco 49ers (0-5) will try to rejuvenate what thus far has been an extremely disappointing season against the Oakland Raiders (2-3) on Sunday in week 6 NFL action. Coverage of this game will be shown on CBS as well as DirecTV channel 714 when kickoff occurs at approximately 4:05pm EST,

The winless Niners were picked by many to be the favorites in their division, however, things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for them in 2010. After a promising 8-8 record in ’09, their best since 2002, hopes were high but it appears that the mounting expectations were too much for the young San Francisco squad to handle.

In their first four weeks, the Niners have been blown out twice and gotten beaten twice in the final seconds of the game. Those four games coupled with San Francisco’s 27-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles a week ago are good enough to give the franchise their longest winless streak since 1979 when the team started the year 0-7 and finished it 2-14. In the history of the league, no team has ever made the playoffs after starting 0-5 on the season.

Part of the reason that the Niners have been struggling is the inconstant play of quarterback, Alex Smith. Smith finished the day against the Eagles with a 165 yard 15-for-19 performance. While Smith’s struggles have been well documented, the team’s coach Mike Singletary believes that things will turn around following the quarterback’s two late touchdown drives in the team’s previous game. That being said, Smith does have an NFL-high nine interceptions and has had trouble establishing any kind of rhythm with the rest of his offense. The lone weapon that Smith appears comfortable going to is tight end, Vernon Davis, who leads the team with 313 receiving yards.

If San Francisco hopes to get their first win of the season in this game, they’ll need to change their methodology as it applies to the offense. Smith will have to be more efficient with the ball, and he’ll have to utilize his receivers, not just his tight end. On the defensive side, the corners will need to keep the aerial attack from killing them because Smith likely won’t be able to bring this group back from behind.

On the other side of the field, the Raiders face similar offensive problems relating to their quarterback situation. Quarterback, Bruce Gradkowski injured his shoulder during their 35-27 upset victory over the San Diego Chargers last week, and as a result, he was replaced by Jason Campbell. Campbell, the team’s offseason pick-up courtesy of the Washington Redskins, went 13-for-18 for 159 yards and a touchdown.

All indications point to Gradkowski still getting the start as long as he’s healthy enough to play on Sunday.

Either way, the Raiders have a powerful running attack spearheaded by Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. Thus far, McFadden has averaged 4.6 yards per carry and 98 rushing yards per game through the first four weeks. Then, when he sat out against the Chargers, Bush came in and had 26 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown.

With a victory against San Francisco, the Raiders can get back to .500. In order for Oakland to pull out this win Gradkowski will need to be as close to one hundred percent as possible. Further, the defense and special teams will need to contribute much in the way they did against the Chargers a week ago.

NFL Game Lines: In large part due to the fact that they’re playing at home, the San Francisco 49ers are a touchdown favorite for the game as listed in the Week 6 NFL Betting Odds. Oddsmakers at Bodog Sportsbook have officially set the over/under at a total of 41.5 points. Both teams enter this game with a 2-3 record against the spread according to the current NFL ATS Standings.

Against The Spread Betting Trends: The Raiders are 2-5 ATS in their last 6 games in October and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games in Week 6. Meanwhile, The Niners are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 games in October and 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games on grass.

Over/Under Betting Trends: In terms of the betting trends that are hot, these teams are on completely separate ends of the spectrum when it comes to the over/under. As an underdog, Oakland games have hit the over in 4 out of the last 4 games while San Francisco games have gone to the under 4 out of the last 5 games following an ATS loss.

The over is 4-0 the last 4 games in which Oakland has entered as a 3.5 to 10 point underdog. Meanwhile, the under is 4-1 in the 49ers last 5 games as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points.

See more NFL betting trends for the Oakland Raiders vs. San Francisco 49ers

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