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Not too long ago the Denver Broncos beat the rival Oakland Raiders eight times in a row. But now the Raiders are 3-2 both straight up and against the spread over the last five meetings between the teams. Oakland shoots for its first win under new coach Jon Gruden when it dances with Denver Sunday afternoon at Mile High.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 26.5-16.0 Broncos (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Raiders can cover the spread
The Raiders are trying to rebound this week after falling to the Rams on Monday night 33-13 in their debut under Gruden. Oakland actually drove the opening possession of the season 75 yards to a touchdown and led 13-7 at the half. But the game slowly slipped away from the Raiders in the second half, as the offense went cold and a late Derek Carr pick-six created a slightly misleading final score.
On the night Oakland actually out-gained Los Angeles 395-365 and held a 32/28 edge in time of possession. But three Carr interceptions basically cost the Raiders 16 points.
Oakland beat Denver the last time these teams met, back in November of last season, 21-14. The Raiders led that game 21-0 before allowing the Broncos to finally hit the board early in the fourth quarter, and on the day out-gained Denver 348-216.
Why the Broncos can cover the spread
The Broncos opened their season last week with a 27-24 victory over Seattle. Denver spotted the Seahawks the game’s first touchdown and later trailed 24-20 early in the fourth quarter. The Broncos then drove 75 yards to a touchdown and the lead and the defense did the rest, holding Seattle to one total yard of offense over its last three possessions.
On the day Denver out-gained the Seahawks 470-306, out-rushed Seattle 146-64, made 25 first downs to 13 for the Seahawks and won time of possession by a 35/25 split. The Broncos defense pitched in by holding Seattle to a 2-for-12 performance on third-down conversions, forced three turnovers and recorded six sacks.
New quarterback Case Keenum threw three interceptions that basically cost Denver 17 points. But he responded when needed, and ended up throwing for 329 yards and three scores, including a short connection with Demaryius Thomas for the winning points.
Smart betting pick
The Broncos own the better running game and the better defense. Meanwhile the Raiders are still operating under Gruden’s stiff learning curve. Smart money here gives the points with Denver.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in the Raiders’ last three games against the Broncos.
The Broncos are 12-0 SU in their last 12 games at home in September.
The Raiders are 1-6 SU and 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games on the road.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.