In what could be one of the most lopsided spreads on MNF this year, the Oakland Raiders take their talents to Denver as 15 point underdogs. This line is all over the place at different shops, so be sure to look around for the best number depending on what you’re playing. With the way the Broncos have been playing this season, the 15 points against a lousy opponent is maybe worth it. I know plenty of people were shaking their heads when they saw Jacksonville catching 19 points yesterday, only to get demolished not even covering the 19, so I’m sure people are feeling a little more confident laying the points with the Broncos tonight.
I started off hot yesterday with my NFL picks, jumping out to a 2-0 start in the early games, and then falling off with the late afternoon game and on SNF. The Steelers looked exactly how I predicted, well, offensively that is. Ben Roethlisberger did his thing and wiggled around a Bears’ pass rush to make some plays, but the defense uncharacteristically got throttled against a pretty good Bears team. At 0-3, the Steelers are all but out of the picture. I don’t see them making a big comeback at this point if they can’t even beat the Bears at Heinz Field. I am 3-2 on the week continue Thursday night, so lets make it a nice week 3 with a win tonight. Onwards to MNF we move.
Raiders vs. Broncos Betting Odds:
Oakland Raiders +15(-110)
@Denver Broncos -15(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Raiders vs. Broncos Pick:
This rivalry has become quite a bit of a joke and I don’t see it getting any more competitive with the Broncos only getting stronger. With Peyton Manning under center, and the multitude of options he has to go to in this offense, they could be getting big spreads all season long. The Broncos blasted the Giants last week, 41-23, where they opened things up in the second-half, pulling away easily to give the Giants their second loss of the year (now 0-3). Their offense has far and above the best statistically, averaging a huge 45 points a game in their first two games against the Ravens and Giants. Now, there was lots of talk about how bad the Ravens’ defense was going to be this year, but ever since that shellacking at the hands of the Broncos, the Ravens have held both of their last two opponents under 10 points. So, perhaps this offense really is that good and the Ravens’ defense isn’t as bad as people expected. Without even looking at Manning, taking a glance at his wide receivers will make a defensive coordinators head spin. Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and breakout star Julius Thomas are all playing well this season. Throw in the emergence of Andre Caldwell, and the Raiders will have their hands full Monday night. Along with 45 points a game this season, the Broncos are averaging 462 yards of offense. Of course that is tops in the NFL.
Looking at statistics may do you wrong though, like I think in the case of the Oakland Raiders. The Broncos numbers are a good representation of what they are, but in the case of the Raiders’ defense I’m not so sure. Before entering tonight’s game against the Broncos, the Raiders are 3rd in the NFL with regards to total yards allowed, only at 261. They also have great numbers defending the pass, which is critical to defeating the Broncos, with 180.5 yards given up per game. The problem with this to me is the team that they held down last week. The Raiders kept the Jacksonville Jaguars off the board, beating them 16-6 in a thrilling contest. The Jaguars have the absolute worst offense in the league, which isn’t even close in my opinion. Going from the Jaguars to the Broncos in primetime on MNF could pose some problems for this bunch. If the Broncos could bulldoze the Ravens’ defense, which I still think is better regardless of statistical ranking, Manning and company should keep on rolling.
The only question mark with the Broncos if their defense. They played pretty well last week against the tumbling Giants, but they’re still without some essential pieces on the defensive side of the ball. First off, Champ Bailey is still nursing a foot injury and is listed as questionable, and then Von Miller is still waiting out his six-game suspension. Some would argue Miller and Bailey are their best defenders, so in all actuality, they are going pretty good without them then. The Raiders are 1st in the NFL running the ball, but the Broncos are 1st at stopping it, so this could lend to an interesting storyline come tonight. There is still uncertainty in Oakland to who should be the starting quarterback. Terrelle Pryor has done an adequate job in the starting role and will get the nod again tonight. The former Ohio State Buckeye will need to be sharper and stay on point to keep the Raiders in the game. He’s tossed 1 touchdown this season with 2 interceptions, make a mistake against the Broncos and they’ll turn it into points the other way. One of Pryor’s greatest attributes is his legs, and he’s been good in that department, rushing for 162 yards in his first two starts of his NFL career.
Even before the season started I told myself the Broncos and over bets are a match made in heaven from the gambling gods. In week 1 we cashed that one and then in week 2 that hit as well. Anything under 50 points involving the Broncos on a total is a good reason to start looking at another over bet. I realize the Raiders, statistically, own one of the best defenses in the NFL. If they didn’t play the Jacksonville Jaguars they wouldn’t be nearly as close to the top. I expect Manning and the Broncos’ offense to shine under the lights on primetime on MNF. The Broncos should do a good job defensively, holding the Raiders to around 17 points, but the main thing here is the offense. Look for the Broncos to light the scoreboard up again in week 3. Play over, lean Broncos -15.
PICK: OVER 48.5 (-110)