Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders NFL Free Pick

Published November 9, 2014.
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The Denver Broncos (6-2) are coming to the west coast to lock horns with the only team that are still winless in the league, the Oakland Raiders (0-8), in an all AFC West clash at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland Sunday. Denver is set as an 11 point favorite with the over/under set around 50.5 points.

The Broncos had a four game winning streak ended last Sunday as the Patriots whipped them away 43-21 in New England. Denvers is 2nd in the league in passing offense, but have struggled rushing ranking only and 27th. Peyton Manning has completed 208 of 309 passes for 2,572 yards and 24 TD passes against only five picks. Montee Ball is #2 on the team with 55 carries for 172 yards total and one TD; he’s questionable today though, missing the last month with a groin strain. The trio of Ronnie Hillman (85 carries, 365 yards, 3 TD), C.J. Anderson and rookie Juwan Thompson that will carry the load in his absence. In the passing game, Manning has a wide variety of targets as he can go to; Demaryius Thomas (54 catches, 894 yards, 6 TD), Emmanuel Sanders (team high 57 grabs, 785 yards, 4 TD), tight end Julius Thomas (32 receptions, 360 yards, 10 TD) and Wes Welker (22 catches, 212 yards, TD) just to name a few. Brandon McManus has been solid as the kicker; going 100% for all 31 extra points and six of nine field goals so far this season.

The Broncos are 7-0 ATS in their last seven after a straight up loss and 4-0 ATS in their last four in week 10, 4-1 ATS in their last five overall and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 against teams with a losing record. The Raiders are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 following a straight up loss, 3-8 ATS in their last 11 against the AFC, 1-4 ATS in their last five against the AFC West, 3-13-1 ATS in their last 17 following an ATS win, 1-7 ATS in their last eight at home and 1-8 ATS in their last nine on grass.

Oakland lost for the eighth straight game to start the year with a 30-24 road defeat to the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. The Raiders are 22nd in passing offense and last in rushing offense with an average of 66.1 yards per game; they are 10th in passing defense and 27th against the run. Derek Carr is 176 of 290 throwing the ball for 1,711 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions on the year. Darren McFadden leads the Raiders in the ground game with 98 carries for 358 yards and two scores plus 25 catches out of the backfield; Carr is next in line with 81 yards rushing. James Jones leads the team with 39 receptions for 443 yards and three scores in the passing game while Andre Holmes has grabbed 25 passes for 400 yards and four scores. Sebastian Janikowski has hit all 15 extra points but has just 10 field goal attempts, hitting eight this season.

The Raiders are 4-1 ATS in their last five in November. Denver is 1-4 ATS in their last five following a straight up loss of at least 14 points.

Straight up on paper, this game is a mismatch as the Broncos should have their way with a young, inexperienced Oakland team. However, games aren’t played on paper and the Raiders have played tough football, covering against New England, Seattle and San Diego already this season. The Broncos will win this game but expect the Raiders to backdoor their way to cover the line; take the points.