Two AFC West teams coming off of two straight losses face off this week, as the Las Vegas Raiders hit the road to try their luck against the Denver Broncos. The Raiders, of course, haven’t had much luck this past week, as head coach Jon Gruden resigned from his position after emails of him using insensitive and inappropriate language were leaked. No matter how good your team is, that’s the kind of outside noise that’s hard to ignore. The Raiders didn’t look like themselves in the 20-9 loss to the Chicago Bears, and that was before Gruden hung up the clipboard.
The Broncos lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, 27-19. Teddy Bridgewater didn’t look like himself in the first half, as he missed practice the week prior due to him being in concussion protocol. He did rebound in the fourth quarter to lead a comeback, but ultimately fell short. This divisional matchup is important, as the winner will keep pace with the 4-1 Los Angeles Chargers while the loser could end up tied for last place with the Kansas City Chiefs. With the Chiefs’ slow start, this is the time for all AFC West teams to try to rack up some wins.
Below, we will break down this matchup from a gambling perspective and examine the line movement, Over/Under and player props to consider. First, here’s how you can watch Sunday’s matchup.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
Date: Sunday, Oct. 17 | Time: 4:25 p.m. ETLocation: Empower Field at Mile High (Denver, CO)TV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)Follow: CBS Sports AppOdds: Broncos -4, O/U 43.5
This line reopened at DEN -2.5 last Wednesday and bumped up to DEN -3 on Sunday night. It rose another half point to DEN -3.5 on Monday, and then to DEN -4 on Friday.
The pick: Broncos -4. This game is actually one of my top five ATS picks of the week. Here’s what I wrote:
“I’m not in love with the Broncos, but I do like them being at home against a team that is dealing with some unfortunate off-field issues.
“This team did not look right during their 20-9 loss to the Chicago Bears last week, and I have no reason to believe they are going to look like a well-oiled machine this week. An interim head coach having to take his team on the road in the midst of a two-game losing streak while they continue to deal with outside noise.”
The total reopened at 43.5 last Wednesday, and rose a full point to 44.5 on Sunday night. It fell to 44 the following day before landing back at the current 43.5.
The pick: Over 43.5. I’m not too high on the total in this matchup, but SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh says his simulations have this game going Over. A 27-20 final score sounds about right.
Tim Patrick receiving yards: Over 50.5 (-110). Patrick is one of the more underrated wideouts in the NFL, and he caught seven of nine targets last week for 89 yards. He’s recorded at least 51 receiving yards in two out of the last three.
Brandon McManus extra points made: Over 2.5 (+100). If you’re wondering why this is plus money, it’s because McManus hasn’t made three extra points in a single game since the season opener. He’s been busy kicking field goals for the Broncos, but I think this changes Sunday.
Javonte Williams receiving yards: Over 15.5 (-110). I’ve been impressed with Williams so far, and he has recorded at least 25 receiving yards in two out of the last three games.
Flier prop: Javonte Williams first touchdown (+850)