Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders look to jump to an early lead in the AFC West as they meet on Monday Night Football for the final game of week one of the NFL season. The Broncos are -3 favorites over the Raiders with an over/under point total set at 40.
It was an offseason of change and rumors for the Denver Broncos as they brought in new Head Coach John Fox, a proven winner who went to the Super Bowl with the Carolina Panthers. While it may or may not have been the first thing on his agenda, Fox was meet with a QB controversy in which Kyle Orton beat out Tim Tebow for the starting spot. Fox’s teams are known to lean on the run so Broncos fans should expect a heavy dose of Knowshon Moreno and will see that Willis McGahee will see plenty of action as well as he was brought in as more than just an insurance policy. While Denver starts Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal at receiver, look for Eric Decker to have an impact here as well. While the Broncos offense will have a different look, the biggest improvement should be on defense where Elvis Dumervil returns after missing the entire last season with an injury and where Denver spent it’s first round draft choice on Von Miller, a player who should make an immediate impact. With veterans Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey manning the secondary Danver should be fine against the pass but they are going to need Brodrick Bunkley, Joe Mays, and D.J. Williams to have solid years if they are going to at least slow down the run. Of course the Broncos get the edge here playing at home where the altitude and crown noise are legendary.
The Oakland Raiders looked to be a team who wasn’t far away from being a contender when we last left off with them a season ago. With Oakland finishing fourth in the AFC and sixth in the NFL in scoring a season ago, Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson was given the reigns as Head Coach. QB Jason Campbell is now in his second year in the system so he should be better than he was a year ago and he gets plenty of help as the Raiders were second in the NFL in rushing a year ago and are healthier there with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, then they were at any time last season. Receiver Jacoby Ford is one of the NFL’s most exciting players and Oakland is still looking for former first round pick Darius Heyward-Bey to add receiving skills to his blazing speed. Kevin Boss replaces Pro Bowler Zach Miller who left via free agency at tight end. Richard Seymour and Matt Shaughnessy anchor the line that the whole defense revolves around and Rolando McClain and Kamerion Wimbley make up two-thirds of a very under rated linebacking corps. Stanford Rott will be called upon to step up as the Raiders look to fill the void left by the departure of Nnamdi Asomougha but he gets help from safeties Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch. It’s tough to even talk about the Raiders without mentioning their kicking game which with Shane Lechler and Sebastian Janikowski is the best in the NFL though it was really just a few missed field goals that were the difference makers overall last season. There is definitely reason for hope and expectaions in the Bay Area.
Denver is 8-20-2 against the spread in their last 30 games against the AFC West, 11-25-2 against the spread in their last 38 home games, and 8-26-1 against the spread in their last 35 games as a favorite. Oakland is 7-0 against the spread in their last seven games against the AFC West, 5-2 against the spread in their last seven road games, and 1-7 against the spread in their last eight Monday Night games. The Raiders have covered five in a row in Denver.
This number looks very low for this game as Oakland was one of the best scoring teams in the NFL and games played between these two teams have gone over in six of the last eight meetings. Throw in the seven of the last nine games in Denver have gone over, Denver’s last eight games as favorites all went over, and the over is 10-4-1 in Oakland’s last 15 games against AFC teams make this game set up as an over as well.