You are using an old web browser. Such browsers do not support modern web technologies and do not offer proper security. Please update your browser or download one of the others suggested for free.
Mozilla Firefox |
Google Chrome |
Internet Explorer |
THE STORY: Most of the offseason talk surrounding the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders centered on their respective quarterbacks. No surprise there, except in both cases the quarterbacks in question are not expected to be contributors this season.
Tim Tebow and Terrelle Pryor will be watching from the sideline when Denver opens the season by hosting Oakland in an AFC West matchup on Monday night. Of more consequence, each team will feature new head coaches (John Fox for the Broncos and Hue Jackson for the Raiders) amid renewed optimism that both can challenge for the division crown.
TV: ESPN, 10:15 p.m. ET.
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (2010: 4-12, 4th, AFC West): Ex-Carolina Panthers coach Fox was brought in to help plug a sieve defense that allowed an NFL-high 471 points last season. Kyle Orton, the subject of major trade rumors in the offseason, returns as the starter after throwing for 3,653 yards and 20 TDs in 13 games last season. Although Brandon Lloyd led the league with 1,448 receiving yards, expect a more balanced offense with Willis McGahee joining former first-round draft pick Knowshon Moreno in the backfield. LB Von Miller was drafted No. 2 overall to bolster the defense, and the pass rush in particular.
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (2010: 8-8, 3rd AFC West): Oakland ended a string of seven straight seasons with double-digits losses, but it couldn’t save head coach Tom Cable’s job. The Raiders went 6-0 against the division, helped in large part by a breakout season from RB Darren McFadden, who finally lived up to his billing as a No. 4 overall pick and was second overall in the league with 128.0 yards from scrimmage per game. With a stable of speedy, young receivers, QB Jason Campbell (2,387 yards, 13 TDs) may be asked to do more in his second season with the Raiders.
1. The Raiders annihilated the Broncos in two meetings last season, outscoring them 98-37. That included a 59-31 thrashing in which McFadden romped for four touchdowns.
2. Denver usually starts the season well, posting an AFC-best 32-18-1 mark in season openers, including winning 16 of the last 22. The Broncos also have won 11 consecutive home games on Kickoff Weekend.
3. In their glory days under owner Al Davis, the Raiders were known as the Kings of Monday Night. Not anymore. Oakland has lost 11 straight games in prime time since beating Denver in November 2008.
The Raiders are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games against AFC West opponents but 1-5 ATS in their last six Week 1 games.
The Broncos are 11-25-2 ATS in their last 38 home games and 8-26-1 in their last 35 games as favorites.
The over is 5-1 in Denver’s last six home games.
This game opened as a pick ‘em at most sportsbooks back in early August but got bet up to Broncos -3. The game is still at Denver by a field goal but the juice is starting to climb (-125 on Sunday afternoon). We could see the line close with Oakland getting 3.5 points.
The total sits at 40.5 and has been around that numbers since oddsmakers first opened the over/under line.