The Denver Broncos (6-8) travel to California in Week 16 for a prime-time showdown with the Oakland Raiders (3-11) on Monday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:30 PM EST on December 24th at Oakland Alameda Coliseum and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Broncos listed as 2.5-point road favorites. That line shifted has yet to move after early betting, as Denver is currently available at -2.5. The total for this matchup is 44.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 16 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Raiders vs Broncos Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Denver dropped their second game in a row last weekend, falling 17-16 at home to Cleveland. The Broncos held a slim 13-10 lead heading into the 4th quarter but couldn’t hold on, getting outscored 7-3 in the final 15 minutes. QB Case Keenum struggled for much of the game, throwing for 257 yards and getting picked off twice. RB Phillip Lindsay led the way on the ground, although he only managed to rush for 24 yards on 14 carries. Denver couldn’t get anything going through the air either, as no receiver managed to gain more than 65 yards on the afternoon. As a whole, the offense is currently averaging 21.9 points per game (21st overall) on 352.3 total yards.
The Broncos have been pretty solid on the other side of the ball through their first fourteen games, giving up just 21.4 points per game (10th overall) on 378.1 yards of total offense. However, they have struggled a bit against both the run and the pass in terms of total yardage allowed per game, as they currently rank 20th and 25th overall respectively.
Oakland dropped to 3-11 overall on the season last weekend after falling 30-16 on the road to Cincinnati. The Raiders couldn’t find a way to keep their momentum rolling after a shocking upset victory over Pittsburgh back in Week 14, as they allowed an injury-riddled Bengals team to jump out to a 20-7 lead after just two quarters. QB Derek Carr played fairly well in a losing effort, throwing for 263 yards and a touchdown. WR Jordy Nelson also turned in a solid performance, racking up six catches for 88 yards. However, Oakland continued to struggle on the ground, as Doug Martin was the leading rusher despite gaining less than 40 yards. Overall, the offense is currently averaging 18.6 points per game (29th overall) on 343.9 yards of total offense.
The Raiders have been terrible defensively for most of the regular season, as they are currently giving up a league-worst 29.9 points per game (32nd overall) on 385.2 total yards of offense. They have struggled the most against the run, allowing opponents to rush for an average of 146.4 yards per game on the ground (31st overall).
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Denver -2.5
While both of these teams have really underachieved this year, I am a bit surprised that the Broncos are such small favorites in this particular matchup. Oakland has been terrible on both sides of the ball for much of the season, although they did play quite well against the Steelers a few weekends ago. Still, Denver should be able to grind out a tough cover on the road on Monday night, especially with how strongly Phillip Lindsay has come on in the second half of the season.
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The Raiders are only 3-5-1 ATS in their last nine home games. They are also just 2-5 ATS over their last seven meetings with the Broncos at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum and 3-7 ATS in their last ten games overall. Denver is a very solid 4-1 ATS over their last five road games. They are also 6-3 ATS in their last nine games overall.
It is also important to note that the Broncos are 11-4 overall in their last 15 games on the road against Oakland. I am fully expecting that trend to continue here in Week 16, so I’m going to lay the 2.5 points and roll with the road favorite. This game might stay close for a couple of quarters, but Denver should find a way to win this matchup by at least a field goal.