The Patriots arrived in Las Vegas on Sunday evening, practicing on their own on Monday and then with the Raiders on Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of their preseason game this Friday.
Said game will kickoff at 8:15pm from Allegiant Stadium, and will air locally on WBZ Channel 4.
Here are the odds for Friday’s matchup from our exclusive wagering partners at BetOnline.ag:
Odds – Patriots vs. Raiders
Spread: Raiders -1
Moneyline: Raiders -118/Patriots -102
The Raiders have had quite an offseason for themselves, bringing in Josh McDaniels as head coach and Dave Ziegler as GM, and making an abundance of roster moves to set themselves up to compete in the gauntlet that is the AFC West.
Vegas traded for the best wide receiver in football in Davante Adams, pairing him up with his college QB Derek Carr. The two have already revamped their rapport in Sin City – and should put together a lethal 2022.
On defense, the Raiders acquired Chandler Jones, Rock Ya-Sin, Darius Phillips, and Duron Harmon. A much improved roster for a team that made the playoffs a season ago.
The Patriots have had a lackluster week out on The Strip. After what the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan called “the most troublesome offensive practice of the summer,” on Tuesday, New England put together a more respectable Wednesday with Jakobi Meyers being the star of the show. He caught three touchdowns in the session.
Here’s to hoping Friday’s game looks more like Wednesday than Tuesday.
Patriots Players to Watch
Bourne has since returned to the team and traveled to Vegas this week, so it looks like things have been smoothed over. I’m curious to see the kind of reps he gets on Friday night.
Former Texas Longhorn Lil’Jordan Humphrey has burst on the scene this preseason for the Patriots. He leads the team them in receptions with 11 and is second in yards with 133. He also had a receiving touchdown in their first game vs. the Giants.
With the injury troubles New England has at the position mixed with the value Humphrey brings to special teams, he can earn himself a spot on the 53-man roster with another solid performance on Friday.
I put these two together to look at the backup quarterback situation as a whole. I’m still not fully convinced the Pats are going to carry three quarterbacks into the season. As I mentioned in my Roster Projection 1.0, cutting Hoyer actually increases his 2022 cap number by $1M since $1.4M of his 2023 salary would hit the 2022 cap, and that money is fully guaranteed.
However, New England has a lot of guys worthy of the 53, and it may come down to roster management instead of cap management next week. If Zappe plays another solid game, then it could make Hoyer expendable.
As I said, New England has a lot of guys worthy of the 53. That includes just about every guy in their cornerback room. Shaun Wade is one of those fringe guys who has really put it together both in practice and in game action so far this preseason.
I think Wade can make a guy like Terrance Mitchell a surprise cut come next week if he shows out again against Vegas.
Safety is my favorite position group on the Patriots. You have a seasoned vet in Devin McCourty, a young stud in Kyle Dugger, a swiss army knife in Jabrill Peppers, a special teams ace in Brenden Schooler, and untapped potential in second-year man Joshuah Bledsoe.
So who do you cut? Bledsoe has a chance to prove on Friday that he’s more important to the safety room than Brenden Schooler is to the special teams operation.
We once again get to watch an abundance on preseason Jarrett Stidham snaps on Friday, as he is the primary Derek Carr backup now for the Raiders.
I think the former Auburn Tiger takes it to his old team and gets the dub. Raiders win, cover, and the total goes over.
Prediction: Raiders 24 – Patriots 17
Side: Raiders -1
Total: OVER 37
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