NFL Football: Las Vegas Raiders vs. San Francisco 49ers Preview, Prediction & Odds -- 8/29/21

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 4 p.m. ET
Venue: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Where to watch: NFL Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: 49ers -3.5, Raiders +3.5; O/U 35.5; 49ers -180, Raiders +155
BetMGM: 49ers -3.5, Raiders +3.5; O/U 35.5; 49ers -165, Raiders +135
PointsBet: 49ers -3.5, Raiders +3.5

Preseason record
Raiders: 2-0 (last game, won 17-16 at Rams)
49ers: 1-1 (last game, won 15-10 at Chargers)

Sean Murphy made it three straight NFLX big-ticket O/U winners with his 10-star Total of the Week, kicking off Friday night. Check out Murph’s picks and the rest of our thoughts for this week’s preseason action. It's available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Raiders - 49ers preview and analysis


The Trey Lance era may still be some time away, but there’s promise to be had.

The San Francisco 49ers probably feel that, even though head coach Kyle Shanahan has already committed to Jimmy Garoppolo for Week 1.

Lance, though, will get at least one more long run Sunday when the 49ers welcome the Las Vegas Raiders to Santa Calara for the final exhibition contest before the regular season gets underway.

The No. 3 pick in this year’s NFL Draft saw some action in the second and third quarters of San Francisco’s 15-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFI Stadium on Saturday. Lance when 8-for-14 for 102 yards to go with two touchdowns and an interception. One of those touchdowns went to former Miami Hurricane wideout Travis Benjamin. 

Lance’s performance was a refresher after Garoppolo threw an interception on the 49ers’ first drive of the game, ending a 3-for-6 day. On this day, the rookie looked much better than the vet.

But the 49ers have always based their offense on the ground attack and got a dominant outing from former New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman II (15 carries, 72 yards). JaMycal Hasty also contributed with 19 carries for 58 yards.

The Raiders are coming off an ugly, yet gritty win against the Los Angeles Rams last week, 17-16 at SoFI Stadium.

Perhaps the greatest mystery in NFL history is how Nathan Peterman still has a place on an NFL roster, but he led the Raiders to the victory Saturday on a 29-yard touchdown pass to Marcell Ateman with 6:58 remaining.

Peterman, the former Buffalo Bills quarterback, went 16-of-24 for 172 yards and a touchdown, but also had two interceptions. He played the entire game and added 35 yards on the ground, but in terms of if he’s surpassed Marcus Mariota as the backup, that’s not likely.

You have to think about this from a regular-season aspect: If Peterman played against the Rams’ defense, he might not have finished the game. Preseason games: Got to love them.

Offensive analysis


We still haven’t seen the Raiders’ first-teamers this preseason, much like other teams that have playoff aspirations, but until proven otherwise, we won’t know if they’re better than 8-8. Derek Carr is the unquestioned starter, but does he have enough beyond Darren Waller to win games? So far in this preseason, that hasn’t been answered.

San Francisco’s identity is coming to form under Kyle Shanahan; run the ball a ton and utilize that speed at receiver. Raheem Mostert is hoping to rebound after an injury-plagued 2020 season, and hopes the likes of Gallman or Hasty can be that reliable second, or even third, backs the 49ers can rely on.

Defensive analysis


The Raiders’ defense is a big question mark. They’ve got talent up front with Clelin Ferrell and Yannick Ngakoue, but the backend is the question. There’s a lot of pressure on Damon Arnette to take the next leap at corner, but Casey Hayward and Trayvon Mullen need to neutralize things on the outside.

The 49ers defense is still dangerous, and with a returning Nick Bosa paired with Javon Kinlaw, that’s a pair no offensive line wants to face. Not to mention Fred Warner patrolling the middle. San Francisco, so long as its healthy on that side of the ball, will be a tough out yet again.

Prediction


Something tells me there’s an extended bit of Lance coming. Against a second-unit defense, take your chances. 49ers win 20-7.

Betting trends


The Raiders are 7-19 against the spread (-13.9) in their last 26 against NFC West teams.

The 49ers are 5-18 against the spread (-14.8) when they have 100 to 150 passing yards in their last 23 games.

Key injuries


Raiders: QB Marcus Mariota (quad, questionable), LB Javin White (knee, questionable)

49ers: OT Trent Williams (hip, questionable), DT Javon Kinlaw (shoulder, week-to-week), RB Trey Sermon (questionable)

Players to watch


Raiders: Tight end Alex Ellis had four catches for 41 yards last week. In what will be the last games for those on the bubble, maybe Ellis could make a late charge.

49ers: With Trey Sermon questionable, Wayne Gallmand II could see another increase in August snaps. Gallman’s big day against the Chargers could signal more carries his way.

Statistical leaders from last week


Raiders: 
Passing: Nathan Peterman -- 16-for-24, 172 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT 
Rushing: BJ Emmons -- 8 carries, 34 yards
Receiving: Marcell Ateman -- 2 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Roderic Teamer -- 8 tackles

49ers:
Passing: Trey Lance -- 8-for-14, 102 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Wayne Gallman II -- 15 carries, 72 yards
Receiving: Trent Sherfield -- 2 catches, 50 yards
Defense: Davonte Harris -- 5 tackles

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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