A pair of AFC West rivals will conclude Week 3 in the NFL as Oakland heads to Denver to face the Broncos, who have scored 90 points over their first two games. Can the Raiders keep Peyton Manning and company under wraps enough to cover the two-touchdown-plus NFL spread?
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
Monday, September 23rd – 8:30 PM ET
Sports Authority Field At Mile High – Denver, CO
NFL Odds: Broncos -14.5
Why The Raiders Can Cover The Spread:
The Broncos haven’t faced a mobile quarterback like Terrelle Pryor, who has been decent for the 1-1 Raiders, and he is going to be the key to Oakland covering the spread and perhaps, coming away with a massive upset. While Denver leads the league in rushing yards allowed over the first two games of the season, it is due to their offense getting out to a lead, and then the opposition has to play catch-up. The Raiders don’t have the weapons to do that, and Pryor is always going to revert back to what he knows, which is to scramble when the pocket collapses. It is going to be a tall order because the Broncos’ offense is a juggernaut, but the Raiders are fifth in yards allowed through the air, so they may be able to slow down Denver just a little.
Why The Broncos Can Cover The Spread:
Have you watched the Broncos this season? Manning has been absolutely surgical, and it isn’t like he has been doing it against awful players; while Baltimore is going through a transitional period on defense without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, no one saw the Broncos putting up 49 points on them in the season opener. As for the New York Giants, Denver went on the road and posted 41 points. Their defense has been missing Von Miller and the Broncos are 28th in the league in passing yards allowed, but do we honestly think that Pryor can take advantage of that? And even if he can, can he do it enough to keep up with Peyton Manning? Also, the Raiders have won four of their last five in Denver, but in Manning’s first season at Mile High, the Broncos pummeled Oakland 37-6.
Last year early in the season, Manning struggled with his arm strength as he was recovering from another neck surgery and it clearly took him a few weeks to get back to his best, or at least close to it. This season, Manning is ready right out of the starting blocks and has been zipping the ball around and that doesn’t bode well for the Raiders, who have lost in Indianapolis and won at home over Jacksonville. Oakland’s best bet is to try and ride Darren McFadden to a win by running the ball and keeping Manning on the sideline, but we all know how brittle McFadden is.
Denver has won four of their last five when favored by eight or more points on the football lines, and has covered in three of those games. They’ll do it again in the bright lights of Monday Night Football.
Pick: Broncos -14.5