Line: Bills -5.5

The 8-6 Bills will visit Oakland to take on the 2-12 Raiders. The Bills are still in the playoff hunt and are coming off an extremely impressive 21-13 win over the Green Bay Packers. The Raiders lost last week in Kansas City 31-13 but have won 2 out of their last 4 games after starting the season 0-10. The Bills have been playing great on both sides of the football while the Raiders have been committing too many turnovers without getting enough stops on the Defensive end. Buffalo also received good news because running back C.J. Spiller has been cleared to play after suffering a collarbone injury back in week 7. His presence will help take the load off Fred Jackson who has carried the ball 62% of the time the last 3 games.

The Bills are 3-1 in their last four games and their offense has been averaging over 27 points a game over that stretch. As good as their offense has been it has been their defense that is really shining. Last week in a must win game the defense held Aaron Rodgers to 185 yards on 17-42 attempts while racking up 2 interceptions and a forced fumble in the end zone which sealed the victory. In their last 4 games, the defense is allowing an average of 14 points and 2.5 turnovers. Their pass defense is rated 5th in league and held opposing offenses to 0 passing touchdowns in 6 of their last 7 games. Most impressive is that in the last 2 games they kept both Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers out of the end zone.

The Raiders have won two of their last four but over that stretch their defense is allowing over 32 points per game while their offense is only averaging 11.5 points per game. Quarterback Derek Carr has shown improvement the last few games but it is essential that the offensive line do their job as they have allowed Carr to be sacked 11 times over the last 3 games. Failure to hold on to the football could also hurt the Raiders chances of upsetting the Bills in this game. In the last 4 games, the Bills defense has forced 9 turnovers while the Raiders offense committed 7 turnovers. The Raiders also very rarely help themselves as they are tied for 8th in the N.F.L. in penalties with 103.

Ironically, it seems the Raiders have the Bills number because they won 6 of the last 9 meetings between these two teams. The Bills haven’t beaten the Raiders on the road since 1966. History will have a hard time repeating itself this week however because the Bills pass defense is tremendous and the Raiders haven’t totaled more than 85 rushing yards in a game since week 12. Even with the Raiders playing better as of late, the Bills are a much better football team with momentum and incentive on their side and will beat the Raiders by at least 2 field goals.

Pick: Bills -5.5

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