The Denver Broncos will host the Oakland Raiders in a critical AFC West clash on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST at Sports Authority Field and will be televised locally on CBS. Oddsmakers have Denver as a 1-point favorite with the total at 40.5 points. Click here for more Week 17 game odds.

Raiders vs Broncos Vegas Betting Preview

Oakland (12-3) comes in off a 33-25 win at home over the Colts. The win kept the Raiders in position for the AFC West title and first round bye. However, it came at a massive cost. Quarterback Derek Carr broke his leg early in the 4th quarter with Oakland leading 33-14.

Denver (8-7) enters off an embarrassing 10-33 loss at Kansas City. The defeat knocked the Broncos out of the playoff race. Ending any hopes of defending their Super Bowl title. It’s a surprising end to the season, as Denver started out 4-0 and were in prime position at 7-3.

These two teams met back in Week 9 at Oakland on Sunday Night Football. The Raiders won that contest 30-20 in impressive fashion. Oakland led 13-0 early and were up 30-13 with less than 6 minutes to play in regulation.

Free Pick & Odds Predictions: Broncos -1

I would have to lean towards the Broncos at home to play spoiler against the Raiders. I know Denver just got knocked out of the playoffs last week. I just don’t think this team is going to lay down against a hated rival and give them a win. Especially with what is at stake for Oakland. I also think they feel like they have something to prove after their poor showing against the Chiefs. No one likes to get embarrassed like they did in a prime time game.

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At the same time, I think this is a really tough spot for Oakland. Losing a player like Carr this late in the season is devastating. It’s a shock to the system for the Raiders. This team thought they had what it takes to win the Super Bowl with Carr under center. While they like backup Matt McGloin, he’s not the caliber a player to lead them all the way. You just don’t go from a MVP-caliber player to a backup and not expect a decline in play.

Keep in mind that McGloin has made 6 career starts with Oakland. All coming back in the 2013 season. He went just 1-5 as a starter with 11 TD’s and 11 INT’s. The guy hasn’t played a meaningful game in 3 years and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Let’s also not forget he’s facing a talented Denver secondary. One that leads the league against the pass, giving up just 187.2 ypg.

I know the Broncos have struggled against the run and Oakland will try to exploit that. I believe Denver is going to do whatever they can to take away the running game and force McGloin to beat them. At the same time, you still have to throw at some point to pick up key 3rd downs. I think that’s where you will see the biggest difference from Carr to McGloin. The ability to keep drives alive.

The other big thing here, is the Raiders aren’t a great defensive team. So if the offense struggles, they could be in trouble here. Oakland is giving up 24.1 ppg and rank 21st against the run and 25th against the pass.

Broncos are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 home games off a division loss by 10 or more points. Oakland on the other hand is just 10-23 ATS in their last 33 road games after covering 4 or 5 of their last 6 games.