Broncos vs Raiders: NFL Odds & Picks

Broncos vs Raiders: NFL Odds & Picks article feature image

Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Wilson (No. 3).

  • The 0-3 Raiders are home favorites against the 2-1 Broncos.
  • Denver has frustrated so far offensively, but it still has managed back-to-back wins.
  • Cody Goggin previews the game and makes his betting pick below.

Broncos vs. Raiders Odds

Broncos Odds+2.5
Raiders Odds-2.5
Moneyline+120 / -142
TimeSunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest NFL odds here.

NFL divisional matchups are always hard-fought and difficult to handicap. These games can go either way as typically these teams know each other very well.

That won’t necessarily be the case here, though, as both the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders enter this week’s AFC West battle with new head coaches and new star players being added to their offenses in the offseason. 

With this lack of familiarity, as well as the similar talent levels between these two teams in most areas, this may end up being a tightly contested match. However, there is one team in this matchup that I believe is more talented and things will start going their way very soon.

Broncos vs. Raiders Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Broncos and Raiders match up statistically:

Broncos vs. Raiders DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA2220
Pass DVOA1423
Rush DVOA2115
Overall DVOA245
Pass DVOA204
Rush DVOA238

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Things haven’t gone quite as well in Denver as the Broncos imagined when they acquired Russell Wilson. Through three games, there has already been talk about firing first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett and how Wilson's extension was a bad idea. While things haven’t been great yet, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some promising signs.

Denver has moved the ball well so far this season, gaining 47.5% of its available yards, which is the 14th-highest mark in the league. Even with their offensive disaster last weekend, the Broncos’ offense still ranks 16th in yards per game. They have faced the 13th-hardest schedule of defenses so far, so as the schedule lightens up and the offense continues to mesh, things should improve.

A lot of the reason that Denver has not scored more points has been its red zone efficiency. The Broncos have only scored a touchdown so far on 14.29% of their red zone possessions, which is the lowest mark in the league by far. In the last 10 seasons, the lowest mark in this statistic is 35% by the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers. This number should regress towards the mean and Denver will start to score more touchdowns when they are in the red zone.

On the opposite side, Las Vegas is at one of the other extremes as it ranks 30th in red zone defense by allowing a touchdown on 80% of its opponents’ drives. Something will have to give in this one as both teams will likely come back towards average.

The main thing keeping the Broncos afloat so far has been their defense. They have just faced Geno Smith, Davis Mills and Jimmy Garoppolo, but this unit has been strong nonetheless. Denver has the fifth-best defensive success rate this season and sixth-best defensive EPA per play. It’s been through the air where Denver is especially effective. They have the third-best dropback success rate.

Although Derek Carr is likely the best quarterback that the Broncos have faced this season, the Las Vegas option has not exactly been firing on all cylinders to start the season. The Raiders currently rank 24th in offensive DVOA, which would be the third best offense that Denver has faced this season. Out of 33 qualifying quarterbacks, Carr ranks 25th in PFF passing grade. A lot of this is driven by his decision making as Carr is tied for the league lead with eight turnover-worthy plays this season.

The primary absences for Las Vegas are both to offensive skill players. Hunter Renfrow and Foster Moreau will both miss this week’s contest. Renfrow has served well as a safety blanket out of the slot for Carr over the past couple of years and his missing presence will be felt. Davante Adams and Darren Waller will be the main focuses of this passing attack with Mack Hollins taking most of the snaps vacated by Renfrow.

The Raiders’ defense has been pretty brutal so far. They rank 29th in defensive success rate and 27th in defensive success rate against the pass. They are ranked 20th by DVOA but have had the 19th hardest schedule this season. Las Vegas ranks 22nd in opponent yards per play this year as well. No matter how you look at it, this defense has not been good and there is likely not much hope for it to turn around.

Betting Picks

Pick: Broncos Over 21.5 Points | Bet to 23.5

The Broncos' team total is set at 21.5 points. If their red zone scoring percentages can regress towards normal, I really like them to hit this number. Wilson hasn’t shown it yet with his new team, but he is still able to throw downfield and the Denver offense will get it going at some point.

My number on this is 23.3, so I would bet Denver all the way to over 23.5 points as I think that it will get it going against Las Vegas.

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