The Oakland Raiders are playing tough, and we know the Buffalo Bills are going to play tough. This should make for one of the better games of the week.
Buffalo matches up well with the Raiders for a couple of reasons. The Bills run the ball well, and they're not going to beat themselves on defense. They're going to make Oakland earn everything it gets on offense.
What is concerning is the fact the Raiders seem to be getting hot in the pass game. The Bills secondary is a little beat up too. However, some of Oakland's success in Week 7 may have come due to a bad Kansas City Chiefs defense. The Bills should be able to fare better and counter with their run game.
If the Bills run the ball with success, they're going to win this game. That's going to open up what Tyrod Taylor is able to do in the passing game and off play action, and it's going to keep Derek Carr and the Oakland offense off the field. The Bills have done a good job of limiting big plays too, other than against A.J. Green and the Bengals.
The fact this game is 10 a.m. Oakland time may be the extra edge needed to tip the scales in Buffalo's favor.
Prediction: Bills 23, Raiders 20
Maybe the toughest game of the week to call. The Raiders came to life last Thursday night and will be playing on 10 days' rest. The Bills, who have survived a couple of recent close affairs, are surprisingly tied with the Patriots atop the AFC East in the loss column. This game is huge for both Oakland and Buffalo. A win for the Raiders vaults them right back into the thick of the AFC West race, especially with the Chargers playing the Patriots and the Broncos and Chiefs going at it. If the Bills win, they'll be 5-2 for the first time since 2011, when Ryan Fitzpatrick got hurt and then the team tanked. Buffalo hasn't been 6-2 (or better) since 1993. That was their last Super Bowl season. The Bills' 17-season playoff drought is now the longest in all the major American sports. The Seattle Mariners are at 16, having not made the postseason since Ichiro's rookie season of 2001. How good was that guy in his prime?
Oakland Raiders 26, Buffalo Bills 20
Sports on Earth, Will Leitch](http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/259817046/confidence-pool-nfl-picks-week-8)
BUFFALO BILLS (4-2) over Oakland Raiders (3-4)
Remember: There's no bigger story in the NFL this year than the Bills potentially breaking their playoff drought. Not time to get excited yet, but it might be close.
MDS's take: The Raiders' defense just can't stop anyone this season, and the Bills should be able to slow down Derek Carr and Amari Cooper better this week than the Chiefs did last week. Buffalo takes another big step toward the playoffs.
MDS's pick: Bills 28, Raiders 21.
Florio's take: Once upon a time, Buffalo blasted Oakland with a berth in the Super Bowl on the line. For the Raiders, this one is nearly a playoff game, and a loss would wipe out a potential season-saving win against the Chiefs.
Florio's pick: Raiders 23, Bills 17.
This is a long trip for Oakland, but they will have had 10 days between games, which helps. Buffalo is playing well, but this is a real challenge. The problem is the Oakland defense is bad. LeSean McCoy will run wild.
Buffalo Bills 27, Oakland Raiders 23
Bad news first: Marshawn Lynch is suspended for this game after going Malice in the Palace in last Thursday's game, and the Raiders have to go to the East Coast, where they got waxed for the first of their four straight losses. Good news: The mini-bye should negate some of the big road-trip effects, and so should the renaissance of Amari Cooper and the rest of the offense, even without Lynch. The Bills seem to be doing it with smoke and mirrors, or with smarter coaching — one or the other.
Prediction: Bills, 24-23
There is nothing like crushing a well-regarded division rival to lift the spirits of a flailing team, and the Raiders (3-4) did just that with a come-from-behind win against Kansas City. Derek Carr returned to his 2016 form just in time to lead a game-winning drive. Unfortunately for Carr, the Bills (4-2) have a habit of making opponents miserable, and they can likely gut out an ugly win. With Marshawn Lynch suspended, Oakland will have a hard time controlling the clock.