NFL Week 4 Picks: Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
The Oakland Raiders (1-2) and Denver Broncos (1-2) are both focused on trying to get back to the .500 mark, as these AFC West rivals face off inside Sports Authority Field this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.
Let's take a closer look at this contest from a betting perspective, which will hopefully serve as a guide for those that have yet to make their pro football picks this week.
Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning
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Peyton Manning is still adjusting to his new surroundings with the Denver Broncos, but he's not used to having a losing record.
The former Indianapolis Colts star has won his last six games when falling below the .500 mark record-wise, posting a 4-2 against-the-spread (ATS) record in that situation.
Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden
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Oakland Raiders fans know they have a fighting chance with running back Darren McFadden on the field Sunday, with the team winning his last four appearances in the series.
The former Arkansas Razorbacks star has combined for 508 rushing yards on 70 carries with three touchdowns in those contests.
He will need to be great if the Silver and Black plan on pulling off an upset, especially with quarterback Carson Palmer missing weapons on the perimeter with injuries to wide receivers Jacoby Ford (foot) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (head).
Home-Field Advantage in September
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The Denver Broncos suffered a 31-25 loss to the Houston Texans last week as one-point home underdogs, but don't expect another setback in this matchup.
Since the 1989 season, the franchise has compiled a dominating 36-9 home record in September, including wins in 16 of its last 20 opportunities.
Sports bettors still need to be cautious in laying this number, considering the Broncos have gone 15-35-2 ATS in their last 52 games in the Mile High City.
Las Vegas Perspective
I reached out to Jimmy Vaccaro earlier this week about this high-profile affair, as he serves as the Public Relations Director for William Hill US, and here's what he had to say:
"This game is right where it should in terms of the number. You've got two 1-2 teams, both in a desperate spot. I think Manning will be playing from behind, and I look for Oakland to win this game because they simply have the better run game. McFadden is the difference-maker, and I think they win by four."
William Hill opened the Raiders as six-point underdogs, but that number has moved up a half-point after a couple days of action.
The OVER has gone 5-0 in the last five meetings in this series, but I'm expecting that run to end Sunday.
Both teams desperately need a win in this spot, while the number is inflated with the presence of Peyton Manning on the home sideline.
Keep a close eye on Willis McGahee's playing status this week, as the Broncos need to get their running game going.
NFL Week 4 Pick: Under 48.5