Oakland Raiders (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (2-1 SU, 1-1-1 ATS)
NFL Week 4
Date/Time: Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 4:25PM EST
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OAK +3/DEN -3
Over/Under Total: 47
The Oakland Raiders come to Mile High for an AFC West battle against old rivals the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Each team fell victim to what ended up being league-wide chaos in week three. The Broncos lost 26-16 to the Buffalo Bills, which took a lot of people off-guard after a 42-17 win over the Cowboys the previous week. It was even worse for the Raiders, who a lot of people liked last week against the Redskins based on the strength of their first two games of the season. But the Raiders looked as bad as they had in years in a 27-10 loss that was worse than the score indicated. Still, both teams are 2-1 and have a chance to push it to 3-1 this weekend.
Denver was facing a tougher toad test than it seemed at Buffalo last week, facing an improved Bills team after beating the Cowboys in a game where they looked a little better than they actually are. There were a lot of results from week three that you dont want to take too much to heart and maybe both teams here had those types of games. And all told, it just takes a minor slippage to turn the Denver defense into a less-fearsome group, with a lack of the smallest edge making the Denver offense a lackluster group.
After a huge game at home against the Cowboys, Denver QB Trevor Siemian was off against the Bills. With four TD throws the previous week, he had none on Sunday along with two picks. Receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were effective, but most drives died a premature death. Jamaal Charles looks like hes starting to click, with a TD run and some nice runs on the day. With a refreshed CJ Anderson, a 1-2 punch in the backfield could really pay off later. But its not an offensive formula that is going to fire every week. At home and in a division game could be a time that it does, however.
The Denver defense wasnt at its best on Sunday in the loss to the Bills, but they should be expected to pick things up at home this week, even against a good Raiders offense. The secondary wasnt at their peak, following a game where they were excellent. They have shown they can be tough even against elite NFL quarterbacks. And last season, this secondary was able to keep Carr in check, as he had no TDs against the Broncos D. Von Miller is heating up in the pass-rush department. Look for a good showing from corners Chris Harris, Jr. and Aqib Talib, along with safeties Darian Stewart and Justin Simmons this week. But they will be facing an Oakland team that is good and irritated after such a futile week 3 showing.
What happened to the Oakland offense on Sunday night was a strange sight. They will be facing three straight home games after thistheir second straight road game. And after a beating against the faraway Washington Redskins, they face a divisional foe here, but one that plays in a tough place for a team that might be feeling weary starting the season with three tough road tests in the first month of the season.
Derek Carr couldnt get much right in the loss to the Redskins. Its almost impressive in a backwards way that Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree (questionable) could combine for 13 yards on the day. The run-game got absolutely nowhere and they had to abandon it once they were in chase-mode after falling behind. The offense put up a pitiful 7 first downs while converting zero third downs. It was alarming to watch the line get pushed back by the Redskins, as the front was on their heels most of the game. While this might be a rough patch for the Raiders, they are going to be better than they were on Sunday. Playing a really good defense in altitude doesnt seem to be the right medicine, however, and well see what they come up with this week.
The Raiders gave up a lot of big plays on Sunday night and didnt play as hard as what we normally see. The secondary looks like its going to need to find some answers, as they struggle to find the right formula in that area. Corner play from David Amerson and others has been spotty. Khalil Mack is a major force, but a lot better when the guys around him step up, as well. And on Sunday, that wasnt the case. They are 2-1 and they werent the only team to be off-the-mark on Sunday. At the same time, there are some troubling signs with a defense that looks like it could be a roadblock to wins at times this season.
Last seasons game between these two teams at Mile High is a throwaway with Derek Carr being out of action for that one. The Broncos dominated, but this should be a well-contested divisional game with teams that both bring a lot to the table, with enough flaws to give it a feel of unpredictability. I think when the season ends; this will have been the rough part of the season for Oakland. The way the first quarter of this season sets up just doesnt favor the Raiders, who could be feeling the affects at some point this week. Im taking the Broncos.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Denver Broncos minus 3 points. Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% bonus (Deposit $100, get $100 FREE!)at the web’s oldest sportsbook: Intertops!