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.

Tony Dungy on NFL players, coaches protesting: These are not unpatriotic men

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NFL players and coaches responded in their own way on Sunday to President Trump’s comments about player protests.

Many teams across the league had players or coaches taking a knee or locking arms during the national anthem. Some teams even stayed in the locker room during the anthem.

Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy shared his thoughts on the protests around the league before Sunday Night Football on NBC.

“There was a lot of passion, a lot of emotion,” Dungy said. “You look at these guys and their response. These are not unpatriotic men. They’re men who care about their country, they care about their sport, they care about their neighborhood. I think we got to take a lesson from the two men we featured in Miami. Make a difference. Go forward. Bring things together, not push things apart. It’s a tough, tough time. But I think the NFL responded the right way today.”

Sunday Night Football: Raiders road favorites vs. Redskins

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Perhaps fittingly for a franchise headed for a new home, the Oakland Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr have been an outstanding road team recently.

While West Coast teams playing three time zones from home can make bettors uneasy, the Raiders are listed as three-point road favorites against the host Washington Redskins with a 54.5 total in their Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Raiders are 10-3 against the spread in their 13 most recent road games. They are also 3-0 straight-up and ATS in their last three games as a favorite on the road. Washington, led by Kirk Cousins, has been a poor prime-time performer lately, going 3-11 SU and ATS in their last 14 games at night.

The Raiders, who are 2-0 SU and ATS for the first time in 15 seasons, expect to have a full contingent of offensive threats complementing Carr. Running back Marshawn Lynch has a good matchup against a Washington defense that has allowed the 11th-most rushing yards in the NFL since the start of last season.

Assuming Washington shutdown CB Josh Norman (shoulder) plays, it should be a great matchup in the passing phase with the Raiders’ Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree going against Norman and CB Bashuad Breeland.

Oakland’s offensive line has allowed only two sacks through two weeks and it looks like TE Jared Cook is good to go after getting in a full practice on Friday.

With the Redskins, who are 1-1 SU and ATS, there are some concerns with the offense, which was a top-5 unit in 2016. Cousins and his receivers, including newcomer Terrelle Pryor, have yet to connect on a deep ball – something Oakland doesn’t defense particularly well. Bettors should keep on eye on whether TE Jordan Reed (ribs/sternum), who is key in the short- and intermediate-range game, suits up. Even if he’s good to go, Reed might play limited snaps.

Washington’s offensive line will have to contain Oakland OLB Khalil Mack, one of the game’s best pass rushers. However, it has been run-blocking very well and that should continue whether Rob Kelley (ribs), Samaje Perrine or Chris Thompson is in the backfield.

The total has gone over in 18 of the Raiders’ last 23 games after a win. The total has gone under in 10 of the Redskins’ last 11 games when hosting a West Coast team.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.