The Oakland Raiders hope to keep their playoff hopes alive when they host the New York Giants in Week 13. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST on Sunday, December 3 at the Oakland Coliseum. The game can be seen on Fox in local markets.
The Raiders are listed as 7-point favorites at home with an over/under of 42.5 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 13 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Giants vs Raiders Game Preview & Betting Odds
Oakland has had a topsy-turvy season, to say the least. But with wins in three of their last five games, the Raiders are very much alive in the playoff race. At 5-6, Oakland is a game behind Kansas City for the top spot in the AFC West and also a game back of the second wild-card spot. If they can find some consistency late in the season, a playoff spot is still possible.
The Giants, meanwhile, have officially given up on the season. After a Thanksgiving Day loss to Washington, the Giants have benched Eli Manning and will start Geno Smith at quarterback against the Raiders. At 2-9, it hasn’t mattered that much who plays quarterback for the Giants. But benching Manning isn’t likely to help their chances of winning games down the stretch.
Free NFL Pick Against the Spread: Raiders -7
The benching of Manning makes it easy to lean toward the Raiders in this game. Having Manning at quarterback still gave the Giants a fighting chance each week. But with Smith at quarterback, who knows what to expect out of the Giants. With the Raiders being at home with something to play for, I’ll take my chances with Oakland being able to cover.
Part of the problem with Smith at quarterback is that he hasn’t had any consistent playing time since the 2014 season. The other problem is that when he did start for the Jets early in his career, he wasn’t that good. For his career, Smith has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and a subpar completion percentage. It’s hard to believe that nearly three years of riding the pine has changed that.
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It’s also important to keep in mind that many of New York’s top receivers are injured. The Giants have a lackluster running game and a receiving corps that isn’t going to intimidate too many teams. If Manning wasn’t able to overcome those shortcomings, there’s little chance that Smith will be able to do it either. Even against an Oakland defense that’s middle of the pack, the Raiders should be able to win on that side of the ball.
To be fair, the Oakland offense has also been erratic this season. Derek Carr has been up and down and so has Oakland’s rushing attack. The Raiders will also play this week without Michael Crabtree, who is suspended. They may also be without Amari Cooper, who is currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol. If both Crabtree and Cooper are unavailable, Carr could have a difficult time, even against a Giants defense that has had plenty of issues this season.
However, the fact that Smith is starting is enough for me to take my chances with Oakland winning by at least a touchdown. The Giants have lost four of their last five games, with all of those losses coming by at least 10 points. I have little reason to expect things to get better with Smith at quarterback. With the Raiders fighting for their playoff lives, I expect them to bring their best effort and beat the Giants by a comfortable margin.