AFC West rivals will collide when the Denver Broncos host the Oakland Raiders in Week 4. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST on Sunday, October 1 at Sports Authority Field in Denver, Colorado. Nearly every market in the country will be able to watch the game on CBS.
Oddsmakers list the Broncos as 3-point favorites at home. The line has shifted only slightly after Denver opened as 2.5-point favorites. The over/under for the game is 46.5 points. Click on the link for more free NFL betting predictions from our experts on staff.
Raiders vs Broncos Vegas Betting Preview
This is a critical early season matchup in what could be the most competitive division in football. Both teams are coming off a loss last week and risk falling two games behind the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs with a loss this week.
The Raiders looked good the first two weeks of the season. But they were downright awful last week against Washington. The Raiders managed just 128 total yards and turned the ball over three times against a solid but unspectacular Washington team.
The Broncos weren’t quite as pathetic as Oakland last week. But they also ventured to the east coast and came away with a loss. A pair of Trevor Siemian interceptions doomed an otherwise solid outing by Denver. The Broncos will be glad to come home this week, as they are 2-0 at Mile High and have played quite well with the home crowd behind them, including a convincing win over the Cowboys in Week 2.
Obviously, these two teams are quite familiar with each other and always get up to play when they see the other one lining up across from them. The Broncos have had the better of the rivalry during this decade, but the teams have split their meetings each of the past two seasons, so things are starting to even out.
Free Pick & Odds Predictions: Broncos -3
No matter the records, I expect these two teams to play a close game. But in this game, I’ll lean toward Denver. The Broncos are the home team, the better defensive team, and they were quite as inept on the road last week.
Both teams have young quarterbacks who are still learning to win in the NFL. But right now, Siemian has more support around him than David Carr. The Broncos still have one of the most talented defenses in football, even if the numbers don’t back it up. Denver has also been able to run the ball with consistency this season, something that eluded them in recent years. On top of that, the Broncos also have two elite receives in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
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The Broncos have done a good job of supporting Siemian and putting him in position to succeed. It’s now up to him to limit his turnovers, which has been Denver’s biggest problem early in the season. If you take away the points opposing teams have scored off turners, the Broncos have yielded very little on the defensive side of the ball this season.
Last week, the Broncos stayed competitive and ultimately lost because of their own mistakes. Oakland, on the other hand, got punched in the mouth and utterly dominated. The Raiders got pushed around at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball against Washington. That problem obviously didn’t hamper them against the Jets the previous week, but it could hurt them against the Broncos if they can’t remedy their problems up front.
At this point in the season, the Broncos look more prepared to win a heated rivalry game than the Raiders. They’ve been more consistent and reliable, whereas the Raiders have to bounce back from an embarrassing performance. It’s also tough to go against the home team in a matchup like this, so I’ll lean toward the Broncos to cover the 3-point spread.
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