Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos Week 17 Pick
Oakland Raiders (7-8 SU, 7-8 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (6-9 SU, 9-6 ATS)
NFL Week 17
Date/Time: Sunday, December 29, 2019 at 4:25PM EST
Where: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
Point Spread: OAK +3.5/DEN -3.5 (SportBet - Best Parlay Odds Online!)
Over/Under Total: 41
The Oakland Raiders take on the Denver Broncos in AFC West week 17 action from Mile High on Sunday afternoon. While neither team had things go the way they wanted this season, there is still a lot to play for. Denver looks dead-set on finishing the season strong, and they continued a nice run of late with a 27-17 win over the Lions on Sunday. It was their third win in 4 games, and they now look to even the score with a Raiders team that beat them in week one. Oakland, to their credit, was able to put a stop to an ugly 4-game slide with a 24-17 road-win over the Chargers on Sunday. Amazingly, things have shaken out in the AFC in such a way that Oakland has a small chance of making the playoffs if they win and get wins by the Ravens, Texans, and Colts, while also getting a win from a group of four other teams. It’s remote, but we’ll see how that affects the proceedings on Sunday.
How These Teams are Delivering for the Betting Man
The Broncos have been one of the better teams ATS this season going for their tenth cover of the season this week. Only twice since week seven have they failed to deliver for bettors. They’ve been a reliable proposition at home, and it’s fair to say the Broncos have been playing a little over their heads lately after an 0-4 start looked to be shaping up as a nightmare. Oakland, conversely, saw a midseason surge fall by the wayside in an ugly 0-4 slide that saw them outscored 139-49, with the Jaguars and Jets in that mix. Last week’s road win over the Chargers was the first spread they covered since week ten.
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How These Teams Match Up
By now, Oakland’s regular season-debuting win over Denver, 24-16, is a bygone memory and might not be that useful to dissect for the purposes of this game. Oakland’s defense has played a little better lately, which could spell problems for a Denver offense that needs a cooperative counterpart to thrive. But Denver’s defense has been a big part of their recent winning equation. With one of the better secondaries in the conference, Denver should amply test an Oakland aerial attack that hasn’t thrived in the second half of the season. And not having Josh Jacobs (questionable) available or at full-health doesn’t put Oakland in a spot to succeed against the only semi-weakness in the Denver defense. In fact, Oakland is just more banged-up in general heading into this matchup.
Denver perhaps haven’t found their quarterback of the future in Drew Lock, but a 3-1 record as a starter is a nice beginning to his career. He’s been adequate working with targets like Courtland Dutton, Tim Patrick, and DaeSean Hamilton. With the 1-2 punch of Philip Lindsay and Royce Freeman showing some nice energy late in the season, this offense is on the move. There was the three-point dud a few weeks ago in a bad loss to the Chiefs. But in their other three games over the past month, the Broncos have scored 88 points under Lock’s stewardship.
Examining Team Morale
In week 17 matchups between sub-.500 teams, taking a look at the overall spirits of the teams can be helpful. For Oakland, perhaps a small chance to actually make the postseason could give way to a better performance, and last week showed they at least have some life left in their legs, though beating the Chargers is hardly a major feat at this point. It’s still a significant step up from the past month, where they were basically flat on their backs. Still, that home loss to Jacksonville two weeks ago where they gave up a lead late in their home-finale is a hard image to shake, as is their general collapse after things got interesting when they moved to 6-4 and were actually in a position to take over the division.
The Low-Profile Rise of Denver and What it Means Here
It hasn’t garnered a lot of attention in a league full of more-compelling storylines, but Denver is on the move, going 6-5 in their last 11 and winning three of four. It’s a little under the radar, and that has contributed to the excellent betting value they’ve received in the past few months. When considering all the close losses they have suffered, it’s not hard to see with a few breaks that things could have gone much differently for a team that doesn’t even really have a cemented quarterback.
Their rise has been low-key, what they do well is low-profile, and it makes for a dangerous team at home pitted against a highly-flawed Oakland team that seems to be getting a little extra mojo on the spread based on their pipe dream playoff hopes. Nothing except maybe last week suggests a high-energy Oakland team. Coming into Denver this late in the season could have a wearying effect and against this smothering Denver “D,” it could resound even more.
Lay the Points
Oakland faced a lot of urgent situations this season and never really seemed to respond in the affirmative. An unlikely series of events unfolded in week 16 that left Oakland with a possible route to the postseason. And while they should come to play and won’t get dominated, Denver is showing far more signs of late-season pep. Their defense and the conditions will make it hard late for the Raiders. Denver is by no means infallible, and there isn’t any result in a game like this that would knock anyone’s socks off. But potential Oakland explosion notwithstanding, I like Denver to win akrand cover the spread at home this week.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Denver Broncos minus 3.5 points. Get a huge 50% bankroll boost up to $500 in free bets at Betnow! Credit cards work great there!