Denver Broncos (3-7 SU, 2-7-1 ATS) vs. Oakland Raiders (4-6 SU, 3-6-1 ATS)
NFL Week 12
Date/Time: Sunday, November 26, 2017 at 4:25PM EST
Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DEN +5/OAK -5
Over/Under Total: 43.5
The Denver Broncos come to take on the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday in week 12 AFC West action. The Raiders started 2-0 this season, with Denver starting at 3-1. Nothing has really gone well since for either team. Oakland is coming off a 33-8 loss to the Patriots in Mexico City to fall to 4-6, putting them in what seems like an impossible spot. Denver, meanwhile, lost their 6th game in a row with a 20-17 loss to the Bengals at home on Sunday. At 3-7, they are looking as bad as they have in years. Who can come out ahead in this battle of free-falling teams?
When teams start firing coordinators, its a bad sign and both teams just canned coordinators heading into this matchup. After another tepid showing on offense, the Broncos have parted ways with offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. The Raiders, meanwhile, fired Ken Norton, Jr. as defensive coordinator after another subpar showing on that side of the ball. At least capable coaches were available to fill in, with Oakland making John Pagano their new defensive coordinator, with Denver going with Bill Musgrave on offense. Denver will also use their third different quarterback of the season after going 0-3 with Brock Osweiler. They will start former first-round pick Paxton Lynch. The main takeaway from all this is that things have not gone remotely according to plan for either of these teams in 2017.
Nothing that made Oakland 12-4 in 2016 is working this season. Last year, they didnt have a great defense, perhaps, but it was a D that would step up with timely big plays and play clutch football when the game was on the line. The offense was a vital group and also extremely clutch, seemingly delivering whenever it was crunch-time. They had two 1000-yard receivers and a lot of options on offense. This season, none of that is really evident. Their leading receiver is TE Jared Cook, which is a bad sign, though Cook has been good. They are not that adept at running the ball and are averaging just a little over 20 points a game. Six times in their last eight games, they have scored 17 or fewer points. Derek Carrs form has slipped and they are struggling to find answers on the offensive side of the ball.
Again, the Oakland defense wasnt really that fantastic last season, but when defenses are porous, there is any number of different ways to make up for it. None of that has been seen on the defensive side of the ball for the Silver and Black this season. The Raiders are the first team in modern NFL history to not have any interceptions through ten games. When games have been on the line this season, this side of the ball has disappeared more often than not. Guys they rely on to make plays, like Khalil Mack, have not been the same guys. And sure, there have been some injuries to contend with, but even so, the Oakland defense has not produced as anticipated.
Denver now looks to be broken football machine with 6 straight defeats, something where youd have to go way back to find a similar stretch of Denver ineptitude. Losing is one thing, but coming up short at home to teams like the Giants and Bengals really paints an unflattering image. Add a couple other blowouts to the equation and one could almost understand the canning of a good football guy like McCoy in the middle of the season. Maybe Lynch can give them a boost, but heading into week 12, the overall Denver prognosis has surely soured.
One wants to be optimistic about Lynch, who has battled a shoulder injury for much of the season. At the same time, he still couldnt beat Trevor Siemian for the starting gig in preseason and his limited work behind center in his rookie season in 2016 was less-than-promising. But just maybe, he can bring more out of a neglected aerial package that features talent like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. They can run the ball some with CJ Anderson, Jamaal Charles, and Devontae Booker, who is also a useful short-pass option. But with the whole offense in disarray, key players on this side of the ball have seen their form slip precipitously this season. Also slipping this season has been an O-line that hasnt been good at repelling the opposing pass-rush.
One would have thought Denver would at least be able to rely on a defense that is among the best in the league. It started off well, with the D holding up nicely through the first 6-7 weeks of the season, before they started following suit with a deflated offense. In the last four games, the once-dominant Denver defense has yielded 141 points and thats with only giving up 20 to a bad Bengals team on Sunday. What makes it more concerning is that this has taken place with a healthy defense. With their D looking a lot worse, Denver has gone from a team that had promise in the first month of the season to a team that is now dissolving before our very eyes.
One of the more-difficult bets to make in the NFL are on games between two teams that are really low on overall morale. Neither team is nearly-bankable enough to feel really good about either side of this bet this week. With Oakland more successful as of late, being that they have won 2 of their last 4 games and they arent the first team to look awful against the red-hot Patriots lately, they are in better form. And while it doesnt feel great laying five points on a team like that at this point, they seem like the more-likely candidate to produce something positive this week. Im taking Oakland.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Oakland Raiders minus 5 points. - Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a 50% bonus up to $250 at one of the web’s oldest and most trusted betting sites: BOVADA