The Denver Broncos (10-2) will attempt to extend their series winning streak against the Oakland Raiders (5-7) to nine games when they meet Sunday in an AFC West matchup. While the Raiders have lost the eight previous meetings with the Broncos, they have gone 7-2 against the spread in their last nine visits to Denver.
Point spread: Broncos opened as six-point favorites; the total was 44 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 28.4-17.3 Broncos
Why the Raiders can cover the spread
Oakland is a perfect 4-0 ATS in road games versus AFC opponents this season, winning three of them straight up, including two as an underdog. The Raiders played the Broncos tough in the first meeting at home back in Week 5, losing 16-10 and falling just short of covering the spread as 4.5-point underdogs.
Head coach Jack Del Rio also knows Denver quarterback Brock Osweiler quite well since he was the defensive coordinator of the Broncos the previous three years. Osweiler had his worst performance in three starts last week in a 17-3 road victory against the San Diego Chargers, throwing for just 166 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Why the Broncos can cover the spread
Denver is 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS with Osweiler starting since Peyton Manning was benched to recover from a foot injury. Osweiler’s stats will not blow you away, but he does not take many unnecessary risks like Manning did prior to sitting out. He has yet to throw multiple interceptions in any game, something Manning has done five times.
More importantly, the team’s defense is playing better than arguably any team in the NFL right now and held Oakland to its lowest point total of the season in the first meeting. The Raiders rushed for just 65 yards while quarterback Derek Carr was sacked four times and threw an interception.
The Broncos are really rolling right now, and the more experience Osweiler gets, the better he will become. Oakland picked off Manning twice in the first meeting, which helped the team hang in there and nearly cover the spread. Denver is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games against divisional foes and will make it 9-1 with another cover here at home.
The Raiders are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games on the road against the Broncos.
The Broncos are 13-2 SU and 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games in December.
The Raiders are 2-11 SU in their last 13 games against their division.