The Oakland Raiders will try to maintain their perch atop the AFC West with a fifth consecutive win Sunday when they host the Carolina Panthers as three-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Oakland’s current surge includes last week’s hard-fought 27-20 victory over the Houston Texans in Mexico City, which leaves the club tied with the New England Patriots as the top seed in the conference ahead of Sunday afternoon’s game at O.co Coliseum.
The 8-2 Raiders’ impressive performance this season ends a decade and a half of mediocrity since they claimed their last division crown in 2002 with an 11-5 record en route to a 48-21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.
With 30 points scored per game over their past four games, the Raiders are fifth in the NFL with 27.2 points per game, and they have seen their Super Bowl odds rocket to +1200 after opening the campaign at +2500.
It has been a tougher road for the Panthers, who made their second Super Bowl appearance last season. Carolina has recovered from a dismal 1-5 straight-up start, however, winning three of its past four games.
But the Panthers continue to be a massive betting disappointment, recording only one win against the spread in their past eight outings. Carolina also is just 1-3 SU on the road this season but is undefeated SU and ATS in its last two against Oakland.
Elsewhere in the AFC West, the Denver Broncos host the Kansas City Chiefs as 3 1/2-point chalk on “Sunday Night Football.”
The Broncos and Chiefs sport identical 7-3 records, leaving them deadlocked atop the AFC wild-card standings. However, Denver has dominated Kansas City in recent meetings, winning seven of eight while covering in five of those contests.
In other NFL Week 12 action, the Seattle Seahawks can take a huge step toward clinching their third NFC West title in four years when they visit the Bucs as six-point favorites.
The 7-2-1 Seahawks have won three in a row, going 2-0-1 ATS, and now hold a three-game division lead. However, they will face a high-powered Bucs squad with renewed playoff hopes following two consecutive SU and ATS victories that have pulled Tampa Bay within one game of first-place Atlanta in the NFC South.
The Falcons, meanwhile, look for just their third SU win in their last six games as they host the stumbling Arizona Cardinals as five-point chalk. As well, the Patriots visit the New York Jets favored by 7 1/2 points, while the Texans return home to face the San Diego Chargers as 1 1/2-point underdogs.
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