weather icon Clear

Raiders need to slow ‘Mr. December’ Derrick Henry

Updated December 6, 2019 - 2:29 pm

December for most means Santa Claus and the holiday festivities surrounding the most wonderful time of the year.

But for the Raiders, it simply means here comes Tennessee running back Derrick Henry. He is the NFL’s version of Mr. December.

On Sunday, Henry pounded the Colts in Indianapolis for 149 yards rushing and one touchdown as the Titans won their third straight game and fifth of their past six.

If the Raiders are to end their two-game nightmare (outscored 74-12), they must control Henry. In 14 December games, he has carried 225 times for 1,176 yards and 14 TDs. He is averaging 5.2 yards a carry. In September, October and November, Henry has averaged 4.4 yards and scored 19 touchdowns.

Here comes Mr. December rolling into Oakland, and he is not bringing a bag full of toys.

For those of us who play season win totals, down the stretch we come. I am feeling pretty cocky about the Raiders over six. Need one more, lads. The rest? Not so certain.

— Chiefs under 10½. They are at eight wins. Need the Patriots’ offense to show up Sunday, because Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will score. I was happy to see the Bears’ winning ways against Dallas on Thursday, because the Chiefs are at Chicago on Dec. 22. The Chiefs also have home games remaining against Denver and the Chargers. They should win both. So for me to have any chance at the under, I am counting on the Brady Bunch.

— Cardinals under 5. They have three wins, with the Steelers, Browns, Seahawks and Rams the rest of the way. I’m optimistic, but Kyler Murray — if healthy — is a dangerous quarterback.

— Dolphins under 4½. Now sitting at three. Did not expect to sweat this one out. After upsetting the Eagles for win No. 3, they have three winnable games at the Jets and Giants and home to the Bengals. Win or lose, I think Brian Flores is coach of the year for keeping a tanking franchise focused on the field.

Hope to cash those tickets because that’s what it’s all about.

More Betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting.

Brent Musburger’s betting column appears Saturday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He is host of “My Guys in the Desert” weekdays from 2 to 4 p.m. on VSiN.com, SiriusXM 204 and 920 AM The Game.

Brent Musburger says take 49ers over Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV

The 49ers have the better defensive team, especially up front, and a much better running game, which should allow them to control the clock in the fourth quarter.

Brent Musburger says Chiefs, 49ers headed to Super Bowl

Brent Musburger says the Chiefs will cover the 7-point spread against the Titans, and the 49ers will win but not cover the 7½-point spread vs. the Packers.

NFL’s wild-card weekend offers no safe bets

Nothing is more difficult to handicap than the NFL’s wild-card weekend. Three seasons ago, all four favorites won and cashed against the spread. Underdogs are 8-0 ATS since.

Raiders’ fate could be tied to Texans’ gameplan

Enter Texans coach Bill O’Brien. His team is currently the No. 4 seed, and its only chance of moving up is for the Chargers to upset the Chiefs.

Raiders still have outside chance to make NFL playoffs

Despite their penchant for thinking games are over at halftime and their rash of injuries to key players, the Raiders are not eliminated from the NFL playoffs.

Chiefs’ inept defense gives Raiders hope in key AFC West game

This game presents the biggest coaching challenge for Jon Gruden since he left the broadcasting booth. His team is young, and its confidence was badly shaken last weekend.

Raiders can’t take Sam Darnold, Jets lightly this week

The Jets have been a mess for most of the year, but you cannot overstate how much quarterback Sam Darnold’s battle with mono earlier this season set the franchise back.