Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:00 PM
MNF - Broncos at Raiders
The Broncos (6-8 SU, 6-7-1 ATS) took a major hit to their slim playoff hopes by dropping their second straight game in a 17-16 home defeat to the surging Browns. Denver’s offense failed to come through once again after being held to 14 points in a road defeat at San Francisco the previous week. Since starting the season 2-0 at home, Denver fell to 1-4 in their last five games at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.
Denver actually led this game going into the fourth quarter at 13-10, but Cleveland took the lead early in the fourth on a Baker Mayfield touchdown pass. The Broncos made a crucial fourth down stop to take possession back late, but Denver could only reach midfield and turned the ball over on downs. Quarterback Case Keenum was intercepted twice and threw for 257 yards, as the former Vikings’ signal-caller was picked off for the first time since Week 8 at Kansas City. After posting back-to-back 100+ yard games against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, rookie running back Phillip Lindsay was held to under 30 yards for the second straight week (24 yards on 13 carries).
The Raiders (3-11 SU, 5-9 ATS) picked up consecutive covers as a double-digit home underdog against Kansas City and Pittsburgh, including stunning the Steelers in Week 14 at the Black Hole, 24-21. However, the Silver and Black crashed back to Earth in a 30-16 defeat to the Bengals last Sunday as three-point underdogs. The loss was the sixth in seven tries away from the Oakland Coliseum, while the Raiders fell to 2-5 ATS on the highway.
The Bengals jumped out to a 17-0 second quarter lead and never looked back as the Raiders’ lone touchdown came on a Derek Carr one-yard connection to Lee Smith (no, not the Hall of Fame relief pitcher). Oakland rushed for only 68 yards against Cincinnati, one week after putting up 55 yards against Pittsburgh, which is huge drop-off following a 171-yard ground effort against Kansas City in Week 14.
Last season, the Broncos picked up only one road win in eight tries, which didn’t come until Week 15 at Indianapolis. This season, Denver started 0-2 away from Mile High following double-digit defeats to the Ravens and Jets, but put together its most complete effort of the season in a Week 7 blowout at Arizona. The Broncos continued to stay competitive on the highway by covering in a loss at Kansas City and rallying past the Chargers as 7 ½-point underdogs in Week 11.
Denver cruised past Cincinnati in Week 13 as a four-point favorite, but crashed and burned the following week at San Francisco in a 20-14 defeat as the Niners built a 20-0 halftime lead and the Broncos scored a pair of late touchdowns to make the final score look closer.
Sticking with the Broncos, Vance Joseph’s team is riding a six-game UNDER streak dating back to a 19-17 home loss to the Texans in Week 9. Denver has not scored more than 24 points since dropping 45 points at Arizona in mid-October, while limiting the last six opponents to 22 points or fewer. All six totals in this stretch have sat between 45 and 47 ½, as Monday’s will be the lowest total for Denver since Week 7. By the way, in all three games that Denver has seen a total of 43 or less, the OVER has hit all three times.
THE FINAL HOLE?
There is speculation that the Raiders may be done in Oakland following the season with its pending move to Las Vegas in 2020. So does that mean this is the final game at the Black Hole if the Raiders go elsewhere for 2019? Two of Oakland’s three wins have come at home this season, but the team has lost to the Rams, Colts, Chargers, and Chiefs as an underdog. Yes, the Raiders have covered in their last two games at home, but this is their lowest underdog number at the Coliseum since a Week 8 loss to Indianapolis, 42-28 as 3 ½-point ‘dogs.
The home team has dominated this series since 2016 by winning each of the last five meetings. Denver rallied to stun Oakland in Week 2 at Mile High Stadium, 20-19 as the Broncos scored the final 13 points of the game. Brandon McManus booted the game-winning field goal with 10 seconds remaining to cap off the comeback, but the Raiders still picked up the cover as 5 ½-point underdogs.
Carr finished with 288 yards passing for Oakland with 116 of those yards going to star wide receiver Amari Cooper. The Raiders won’t have the luxury of throwing to Cooper, as he putting up tremendous numbers with the Cowboys after getting traded midseason. Lindsay rushed for 107 yards in the win, as the game finished UNDER the total of 44. Each of the past four matchups have gone UNDER the total, while Denver’s last victory at Oakland came in 2015.
MONDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Under Joseph, the Broncos have lost two of three Monday night contests, including the 27-23 defeat in the final minutes to Kansas City back in September. The last time Denver won on the road on a Monday night came in the incredible comeback at San Diego in 2012 as the Broncos erased a 24-0 halftime deficit to stun the Chargers, 35-24.
The Raiders have dropped four of their last five Monday night affairs dating back to 2012. The last time Oakland and Denver hooked up on Monday night came in 2013, as the Broncos drubbed the Raiders, 37-21 as 16-point home favorites. Favorites have won the last five weeks on Monday night football, as the last road favorite to cover was New England back in Week 8 at Buffalo.
VegasInsider.com NFL expert Joe Nelson checks in for the Monday night season finale as he begins his breakdown with the offensive numbers for these AFC West rivals, “Both teams have fairly average offensive statistics with a slight passing edge for the Raiders and a slight ground edge for the Broncos. The per-game defensive yardage numbers are also nearly identical despite the contrasting reputations for these defenses though Denver has been significantly stronger in scoring defense and against the run.”
After the Broncos looked like they upgraded at quarterback in the offseason, Nelson notes that move has not paid dividends, “Keenum has ultimately been a huge disappointment after being the #2 QBR player last season while with Minnesota. He is currently 29th in that metric only ahead of Ryan Tannehill and rookies Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen among qualified players. Carr sits just two spots above Keenum as his star has certainly fallen from his great 2016 numbers.”
GAME PROPS – Courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas Superbook
Total Gross Passing Yards – Case Keenum
OVER 240 ½ (-110)
UNDER 240 ½ (-110)
Total Touchdown Passes – Case Keenum
OVER 1 ½ (+110)
UNDER 1 ½ (-130)
Total Rushing Yards – Phillip Lindsay
OVER 75 ½ (-110)
UNDER 75 ½ (-110)
Total Completions – Derek Carr
OVER 23 ½ (-110)
UNDER 23 ½ (-110)
Total Touchdown Passes – Derek Carr
OVER 1 ½ (+120)
UNDER 1 ½ (-140)
Total Receiving Yards – Jared Cook
OVER 52 ½ (-110)
UNDER 52 ½ (-110)
The Broncos opened as 2 ½-point favorites at the Westgate last Sunday, as that number has moved up to 3 at most books. The Westgate released the total at 44 ½, but has gone to 43 ½ at many locations and even down to 43 at some books.
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