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Expert Predictions: Week 3 picks for Patriots vs. Raiders

Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 3 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.


Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 3 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Mike Reiss, ESPN:

Pick: Patriots 31, Raiders 17

How the Patriots plan to cover Raiders tight end Darren Waller (18 receptions) is the game within the game. In Week 1, second-year defensive back Joejuan Williams was primarily assigned to cover Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki, but that's because the Patriots viewed Gesicki as more of a wide receiver. Waller has a more complete skill set that makes him a true tight end, and the Raiders move him around a lot, even putting him in the backfield at times. So finding and locating Waller is the first challenge.

Paul Gutierrez, ESPN

Pick: Patriots 35, Raiders 34

Bold prediction: Patriots quarterback Cam Newton will rush for at least two touchdowns. At an athletic 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, he is bigger than any linebacker or defensive back the Raiders have on their active roster. So you know Newton, called a "power forward" by Raiders coach Jon Gruden, is champing at the bit to run the read-option.

Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Raiders

Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots

Dan Graziano, ESPN: Patriots

Trey Wingo, ESPN: Patriots

Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Patriots

Matt Bowen, ESPN: Patriots

Mike Clay, ESPN: Patriots

Jason Reid, ESPN: Patriots

Gregg Rosenthal,

Pick: Patriots 28, Raiders 24

This is a brutal matchup for both defensive fronts. The Raiders' late-1980s playing style is perfectly crafted to wear down defenses like New England's, which is designed to play with six defensive backs and invite the opposition to run. Derek Carr has barely been touched in two weeks, and that doesn't figure to change against a Patriots team where Chase Winovich is (easily?) the best front-seven player.

The Raiders' passive pass rush (one sack so far) doesn't have it any better against a cohesive New England offensive line. After Cam Newton proved he is throwing as well as ever in Week 2, the Patriots present a lot to defend, even if their wide receivers are mostly moving at Witten speed. Possessions and defensive stops figure to be at a premium, so give the edge to Bill Belichick in a tight game where situational football makes the difference.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:

Pick: Patriots 28, Raiders 24

The Raiders are off to the 2-0 start, but this is a tough road game. The Patriots played well in losing to the Seahawks, especially on offense. The defense is a bit of a mess, which is concerning here. The Raiders will hang around in this one, but the Patriots will pull out a close game late.

Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots

Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots

Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots

John Breech, CBS Sports: Patriots

Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports: Patriots

Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Patriots

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 30, Raiders 20

The Patriots are for real. The Raiders eventually could be. For now, though, winning at New England is too much to expect from the most unlikely 2-0 team in the AFC.

Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 28, Raiders 24

Las Vegas is 2-0, but a long road trip on a short work week is going to make this a tough one.

Paul Perillo,

Pick: Patriots 27, Raiders 20

Patriots take advantage of a Raiders team on a short week travelling across the country with some injury concerns.

Mike Dussault,

Pick: Patriots 30, Raiders 17

The Raiders are banged up and have to travel on a short week after playing Monday night, while the Patriots return home trying to put together the best elements of their first two games. New England has a good bead on what Vegas does and should be able to take advantage of a young but aggressive defense.

Erik Scalavino,

Pick: Patriots 28, Raiders 20

New England is coming off a rough, West Coast road loss after an emotional week. Vegas, meanwhile, is making its second East Coast voyage in three weeks and injuries to significant Raider players are piling up. Plus, Las Vegas had a shorter week to prepare after playing on Monday Night. All signs point to another home win for New England.

Megan O'Brien,

Pick: Patriots 24, Raiders 17

The Patriots defense bounces back and finds a way to shut down Darren Waller. The offense takes another step forward.

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