The NFL preseason 2021 brings us the clash between Las Vegas Raiders and Seattle Seahawks on Saturday evening. It will be the first preseason game for both teams, and they seek good preparation as the preseason lasts for only three weeks.
Las Vegas Raiders missed the playoffs last season, as they stayed even 8-8 in the regular season. That record wasn’t good enough to see the Raiders in the playoff battles. Their poor home record of only two wins and six defeats cost them a better position. However, the home fans will have the opportunity to support their team at the brand-new stadium for the first time. On the other hand, the Seahawks found their place in the playoffs last season, but their campaign didn’t last too long. Although their 12-4 record was enough to win the NFC West, the Seahawks lost in the wild card round to their division rivals, Los Angeles Rams.
Las Vegas Raiders – Will they bounce back in the 2021 campaign?
Las Vegas Raiders finished second in the AFC West last season, but they missed the postseason. Despite an excellent start and the 6-3 score, the Raiders collapsed at the home pitch when it mattered the most. During their hot run, the Raiders managed to beat the Browns, Saints, and Chiefs. They are looking forward to bouncing back this year, but they need to improve their defense. That is where the Raiders were very bad last year, being 30th in the league. It means they were hurt by most of their opponents throughout the season, as they allowed almost 30 points per game. Therefore, the Raiders acquired Soloman Thomas and Yannick Ngakoue to address that issue this season.
When it comes to the offensive line, Derek Carr should remain a starting quarterback at the moment, despite the constant talks that he should be replaced. However, Carr had his career-best record last season. Josh Jacobs is very productive in the run game, and he collected 2,215 rushing yards during his first two seasons. There are also several new faces in the offensive line, as the Raiders signed Kenyan Drake and Denzelle Good.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Josh Jacobs, Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, Hunter Renfrow, Foster Moreau, Alec Ingold, Kolton Miller, Richie Incognito, Andre James, Denzelle Good, Alex Leatherwood
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Clelin Ferrell, Quinton Jefferson, Johnathan Hankins, Yannick Ngakoue, Cory Littleton, Nicholas Morrow, Tanner Muse, Casey Hayward Jr., Johnathan Abram, Tre’von Moehrig, Trayvon Mullen Jr.
Quarter Back: Derek Carr
Kicker: Dominik Eberle
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Seattle Seahawks – Looking for another good campaign
The Seahawks want to build on the previous campaign and go at least one step forward this time. However, they have been pretty quiet during the off-season and didn’t make a lot of moves. Russel Wilson remained in the team despite the trade rumors caused by his alleged frustrations with the team. It seems that he’s better than ever, as he set his career records with a 68.8 completion percentage and 40 touchdowns. A two-year deal will keep Chris Carson with the Seahawks as well, while there are also top receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf.
Looking into the defensive line, we can see Ahkello Witherspoon replacing Shaquill Griffin, who left the Seahawks. Benson Mayowa and Carlos Dunlap had a major workload last season, and Dunlap could produce even better displays this time. This is going to be Bobby Wagner’s 9th professional season, and he remains the anchor in the Seahawks defense. The Seahawks were quite solid in the back last season, allowing 23.2 points per game. On the other hand, their offense was producing 28.7 points per game on average.
Expected Line-Up (Offense): Chris Carson, D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Freddie Swain, Gerald Everett, Nick Bellore, Stone Forsythe, Damien Lewis, Kyle Fuller, Gabe Jackson, Brandon Shell
Expected Line-Up (Defense): Carlos Dunlap II, Poona Ford, Bryan Mone, Kerry Hyder Jr., Jordyn Brooks, Bobby Wagner, Ben Burr-Kirven, Akhello Witherspoon, Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Tre Flowers
Quarter Back: Russel Wilson
Kicker: Jason Myers
Expert Pick #1 – Seahawks +2.5 @-110
This game is one of the trickiest to predict in the preseason Week 1, and it can go either way. However, I have the feeling that Seattle Seahawks have a better depth. Although the bookies see the Raiders as favorites in this clash, I will back the Seahawks at +2.5 for the main expert pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Seahawks to Win ML @+120
If you search for more lucrative odds, then the Seahawks to Win ML bet could bring you a lot of value. They might keep up where they left off last time and boost their confidence with a win in Nevada. It is a bit riskier tip, but I’ll go with the Seahawks to win for the second pick.
Expert Pick #3 – Over 37.5 @-110
This is really a coin flip bet, but since the Raiders’ defense has been pretty leaky last time around, the Seahawks could exploit their weaknesses in the back. Seattle had also been pretty good in offense last season, ad this clash could go over a 7.5 margin.