(2-4, 3-3 ATS)
(2-4, 2-4 ATS)
There might not be two teams in the NFL that have fallen upon unluckier times this season than the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos, and the two will get a chance to make amends and start to right the ship on Sunday afternoon in NFL betting action at Mile High Stadium.
For the Raiders, all of the unlucky breaks have come via injuries. With QB Charlie Frye already on IR and QB Bruce Gradkowski suffering from shoulder problems, QB Jason Campbell is once again one of the only options to be the quarterback for this team. However, Campbell too, is dealing with a knee injury that could hamper him. Could it be QB Kyle Boller that is forced into some action this weekend? Only time will tell. RB Darren McFadden missed the last two games, including last week’s tussle against the San Francisco 49ers. He is still a fantastic runner at 392 yards for the season, and RB Michael Bush has been a suitable backup with 204 yards on 56 carries. “Run DMC” might be back in the fold this week, but if he can’t, Bush will do the bulk of the running. One man that has had no injuries all season is TE Zach Miller. This could legitimately be a Pro Bowler this year, as Miller has 30 catches for 388 yards and three TDs to lead the team in all three categories. Oakland’s pass defense, which will be tested in this game, ranks No. 8 in the NFL at 196.8 yards per game allowed.
Denver’s problem this year is that it has had a horribly difficult schedule and has really fallen in some close calls. Last week’s loss to the New York Jets was yet another brutal defeat for a team that has really only been outplayed badly once all season long. Don’t blame QB Kyle Orton, that’s for sure. The former Purdue Boilermaker is on a clip to throw for almost 5,200 yards this season, and in all likelihood, by the end of the first quarter, he’ll be over 2,000 yards for the year already. WRs Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, and Eddie Royal are all over the field, as the three all have at least 32 catches on the year and are all on pace for 1,000 yard seasons. Lloyd is the NFL’s top receiver with 663 yards and three scores, and he is also averaging 19.5 yards per reception. Denver is forcing right at 1.5 turnovers per game this year, but the unit is overmatched, particularly against opposing ground games, where it is averaging conceding 127.7 yards per game, No. 25 in the NFL. Missing LB Elvis Dumervil and SS Brian Dawkins has really hurt the cause defensively, needless to say.
This rivalry tends to produce some screwy results. The road team has won four straight outright. Denver hasn’t won a game in this series by more than ten points since 2005, including last year when the Raiders marched into Mile High and came away with a very unpredictable 20-19 upset as 13.5 point underdogs. We tend to think that Denver will win this game, but the silver and black will stick in front of this number.
NFL Free Picks: Oakland Raiders +8.5