Sunday night NFL matchup has Broncos as slim underdogs at Raiders

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For only the sixth time since the start of 2014, pass rusher extraordinaire Von Miller and the Denver Broncos are listed as a road underdog as they take on Derek Carr and the resurgent Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are listed as the one-point favorite against the Broncos with a 43.5-point total for the Sunday night matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Denver is 4-2 straight-up and 4-1-1 against the spread in their last six games as an underdog on the road, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. Oakland has clearly turned a corner after a decade of mediocrity but is an underachiever at home: 2-5 SU and 0-7 ATS in its last seven games.

Denver is 6-2 SU and 6-2 ATS. Coach Gary Kubiak’s team is 8-2 ATS over their last 10 games, but continuing that trend will likely turn on how the matchup of the Broncos’ 27th-ranked offense and the Raiders’ 31st-ranked defense unfolds. Leading rusher Devontae Booker (shoulder) could be limited, which might increase the burden on QB Trevor Siemian.

With Carr on the other side of the ball, Denver can ill-afford falling behind on the scoreboard early, which was the case in both of their outright losses. Denver’s pass protection has allowed 18 sacks, which is not a good omen going into a game against imposing Oakland DE Khalil Mack.

Oakland is 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS. Oakland’s offensive line, which has allowed a league-low nine sacks, will be trying to negate reigning Super Bowl MVP Miller and a Broncos defense which is tied for the NFL lead with 26 sacks.

The tidily low sack total obscures a negative stat: the Raiders are last in the league with 16 offensive holding penalties, and Miller and OLB DeMarcus Ware will probably draw some flags with their burst off the edge. A repeat of that will affect play selection and limit opportunities for RB Latavius Murray.

The Broncos lead the league with only 5.7 yards per pass allowed, but couldn’t completely shut down Atlanta and San Diego’s proficient passing games during their two losses. All-Pro CB Aqib Talib (lower back) might be a late scratch for the second week in a row. Not having to contend with Talib would probably help Carr’s main targets, WR Amari Cooper and WR Michael Crabtree. That said, Denver has the another superb corner, Chris Harris. Likely replacement Bradley Roby also had an interception-return touchdown last week.

In classic Raider fashion, they have 20 more penalties than any other team. Denver is 13th on the penalty list. Who gets flagged less frequently could tip a game that is a toss-up on the betting lines, although website PredictionMachine.com gives the Broncos a 59.3% of coming away with the victory.

The total has gone over in eight of the Broncos’ last 10 games on the road against teams with winning records. The total has also gone over in five of the Raiders’ last six games with a closing total of 43.5 or fewer points.

Defending champion Patriots among early NFL Week 1 betting favorites

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With the completion of the NFL draft, it’s a bit easier to get a handle on how teams will come out of the gate when the regular season begins in early September.

The Week 1 slate of games begins with the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots listed as 7.5-point favorites against the Kansas City Chiefs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Tom Brady and the Patriots are 8-2 straight-up and 6-2-2 against the spread in their last 10 home games where they were favored by at least 6.5 points.

New England is 9-1 SU and 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 home games played in September. The Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a road underdog.

The Dallas Cowboys are favored by 5.5 points against the New York Giants in the first Sunday Night Football matchup of the season. Dallas is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games against the Giants when it was favored. The total has gone under in eight of the teams’ last 10 matchups in Dallas, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Atlanta Falcons, the defending NFC champion, are favored by 6.5 points on the road against the Chicago Bears in Week 1. Atlanta is 7-3 SU and 5-5 ATS in its last 10 games as a road favorite. Since 2009, the Bears are 2-6 SU as a home underdog of 4.0 or more points.

The Detroit Lions are 2.5-point favorites against the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona is 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games in September. Detroit is 8-2 SU and 5-5 ATS in its last 10 home games as a favorite of 4.0 or fewer points.

The Tennessee Titans host the Oakland Raiders in a pick’em. Oakland is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 regular-season road games. Tennessee is 3-6-1 ATS in its last 10 conference home games.

The Washington Redskins are 2.5-point favorites on the NFL point spreads for Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia is 0-3 ATS in its last three games as an underdog of 3.0 or fewer points. Washington is 4-6 SU in its last 10 divisional home games.

The Green Bay Packers are listed as three-point favorites against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle is 2-8 both SU and ATS in its last 10 road games in September. Green Bay is 7-0 SU and 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven home games against Seattle.

The Minnesota Vikings, who could potentially be facing their former star running back Adrian Peterson, are 3.5-point favorites against the New Orleans Saints in a Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup. Minnesota is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 home games. New Orleans is 6-3-1 ATS in its last 10 conference road games.

And the Denver Broncos are four-point favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers in the second Monday Night Football matchup of opening week. Los Angeles (formerly San Diego) is 1-9 SU in its last 10 divisional road games. Denver is 3-6-1 ATS in its last 10 home games against the Chargers at sports betting sites.

NFL must play its cards right when it comes to Las Vegas

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It’s official.

The NFL has approved the relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, and with the move comes the pressure the league must now face in a city that embraces its gambling and vibrant nightlife.

Not only could this cause problems for the league, which has been outspoken against gambling on sports, but it could impact its players, who now have to deal with being in and around gambling year round.

With so many questions, the NFL must embrace these realities of being a part of Sin City in the future.

PFT’s Mike Florio breaks down the NFL’s future in Sin City in the video above from the owners’ meetings in Arizona.