It is not too often that you see the Oakland Raiders cast as favorites, but that is exactly the case this week when they host the St. Louis Rams in a battle of 0-1 teams.

The bookmakers set the NFL betting spread on this contest at Oakland -3½ at home, with the betting total set at 37½.

It is probably impossible for the Oakland Raiders to be more pathetic offensively than they were last week in Tennessee. This was supposed to be an improved team with Jason Campbell at quarterback, but he did not help matters any with a couple of botched snaps. Add in a lost fumble, 10 penalties and four sacks allowed, and the Oakland offense did not look all that much different from years past.

Oakland Raiders NFL Cheerleader

The bright side is that they are not facing the fearsome Titans’ defensive line this week. On the other hand, Chris Long and the St. Louis Rams front had a great game pressuring Derek Anderson of the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, so the Oakland offensive line may have its hands full once again.

Believe it or not, there is some good news for the Oakland offense. They did average 5.2 yards per rush vs. the normally stiff Titans’ defense, and they are now facing a St. Louis defense that allowed runs of 21, 15, 19 and 20 yards on four consecutive carries to Arizona last week, ultimately culminating in a Tim Hightower touchdown. The Rams allowed a woeful 5.3 yards per carry over the entire game.

Thus, Oakland should be able to establish Darren McFadden here, as he totaled 95 yards on 18 carries against the Titans, and that may make life easier for Campbell and the passing game.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Rams’ performance last week was that Sam Bradford attempted 55 passes in his NFL debut. That said, Bradford did play very well, completing 32 of those 55 tosses for 253 yards and one touchdown, and his three interceptions were deceiving as two of them came on desperation heaves in the game’s final minutes.

Keep in mind though that the game was at home. Bradford is now making his first career road start in front of the Oakland crazies, and he is facing a secondary that includes Nnamdi Asomugha, probably one of the top three shutdown cornerbacks in the entire NFL. Furthermore, Asomugha won’t have much to shut down, as the St. Louis receiving corps hardly strikes fear in the hearts of the opponents.

Thus, the Rams will need a strong game from Steven Jackson to keep Bradford out of dangerous third-and-long situations. As great as Jackson looked vs. Arizona, it may not be easy vs. an underrated Oakland defense that contained Chris Johnson reasonably well until the second half.

Just to make things interesting, there are some negative trends for both sides in this game, so something has to give. The Raiders are now on a 0-8 run against the spread as favorites, but conversely, the Rams are 11-29 ATS in their last 40 games vs. teams that are under .500 straight up!

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