Matchup: Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
Monday, Sept. 23, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Pointspread: Denver -16.5
Total Line: 49
The Raiders opened the season with a 21-17 loss to Indianapolis as 11-point underdogs on the road, but got into the win column by beating Jacksonville 19-9 as 3.5-point home favorites this past Sunday. The total has stayed UNDER in both of those games. While they have struggled to put points on the board, their defense is ranked in the top 10 of the NFL against both the pass and the run.
New head coach Dennis Allen decided to go with Terrelle Pryor as his starting quarterback this season and so far the third-year vet has done a respectable job throwing the ball with a completion percentage of 64.2 on 53 attempts. He has also added 162 yards on the ground on 22 carries. It will be a tall task for Oakland’s offense to keep pace with the high-powered Broncos so it will need a stellar effort from its defense to keep this game close.
Denver was just about everyone’s preseason favorite to win the AFC this season and so far it has lived-up to these lofty expectations with a 2-0 start both straight-up and against the spread, while outscoring its opponents by a combined score of 90-50 along the way. The total has easily gone OVER in both games and it has now gone OVER in five of the Broncos’ last six games.
Peyton Manning has put up some ridiculous numbers against Baltimore and New York in his first two games. He has thrown for 769 yards on 57 completions with nine of those passes going for touchdowns. He has done a great job at spreading the ball around with four different receivers recording at least 10 catches so far. One thing to watch on Monday night is how the loss of left tackle Ryan Clady, who is done for the season with a Lisfranc sprain, effects Manning’s pass protection.
Free NFL Pick
The spread for this game opened up at 14.5 points and early money on the Broncos has driven it up two points on 5Dimes latest board. I am going against the betting public in this one and taking the Raiders and the 16.5 points. Oakland has no chance to win this game, but a better than expected defense keeps it a two touchdown game.
Denver 34 Oakland 20
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.