The Raiders won ugly last week in Kansas City, but the I can't imagine quarterback JaMarcus Russell playing any worse than he did in that game. The key to this year's Raiders' team is an improved defense that added former All-Pro defensive ends Greg Ellis and Richard Seymour, who have already combined for 5 sacks in two games while also helping to improve the perennially bad run defense (they've allowed a better than average 4.2 ypr this year).
Denver looks about average offensively if you take out their fluke 87 yard tipped pass TD in week 1 against Cincy (which I did take out of the stats), but Mike Nolan is doing a good job with the defense, which has played very well in their first two games (4.3 yppl allowed).
That unit should be able to contain the Raiders, but my ratings call this game even and the line opened with the Raiders favored by 2 1/2 points - so there is line value on the side of Oakland. Denver also applies to a negative 27-77 ATS letdown situation that is based on their strong defensive performances in the first two weeks.
I like the Raiders plus the points and hope that Russell goes back to being just bad instead of horribly bad.
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