Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders Betting Pick
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos return to prime time this Thursday night when they head to the Oakland Coliseum to face the Raiders in an AFC West tilt. The game is slated to get underway at 8:20 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on the NFL Network.
It has been a magical ride for Denver this season especially over the last two months with seven straight wins. The Broncos clinched the AFC West title with this past Sunday's 31-23 victory over Tampa Bay as 7.5-point home favorites. They are now 9-3 straight-up on the season and 7-5 against the spread. The total has gone OVER in eight of their first 12 games.
Much of Denver's success this year can be directly attributed to Manning's return to form after missing last season recovering from neck surgery. He appears to be getting even better as the season wears on with 3,502 passing yards and 29 touchdowns while completing 68 percent of his throws. The loss of running back Willis McGahee put a crimp in the Broncos' running game, but when you are averaging 283.7 passing yards a game you do not need to run the ball that often. The other plus has been the elevated play of the defense. It is ranked ninth in the NFL in points allowed.
This season went south early for the Raiders and after last Sunday's 20-17 loss to Cleveland as 2.5-point home underdogs, their current losing streak reached five games. Overall, Oakland is 3-9 both SU and ATS with the total staying UNDER in its last three games. It is 2-4 SU at home but has not won a game at the Coliseum since late October.
There has not been much to cheer about for a team that averaging just 19.6 points a game while giving-up an average of 31.3 points a game to its opponents. This is the highest total in the NFL. Carson Palmer has the Raiders' passing game ranked eighth in the league in yards per game, but Oakland has no running game to speak of and cannot find the end zone to save its life. This year has been a major step backwards for a team that has not come close to making the playoffs since 2002.
Game Betting Trends
The Broncos are 4-1 SU in their last five road games and the total has gone OVER in four of those games. The total has actually gone OVER in four of their last five games overall.
The Raiders are 2-6 SU in their last eight home games and 1-6 ATS in their last seven. The total has gone OVER in seven of their last 10 games at home.
Head-to-head, Denver is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games against Oakland and 2-4 SU in the last six meetings. The total has gone OVER in four of the last five games played in Oakland. Earlier this season, the Broncos rolled all over the Raiders 37-6 as 6.5-point home favorites. The total stayed UNDER the 47-point line.
Denver is still in major contention for a first-round bye in the playoffs so it will definitely keep its foot pressed to the floor on Thursday night. The Raiders have been outscored by an average of 20.75 points in their last four games so there is little reason to believe that they will be able to keep this one close enough to cover the 10.5-point spread.