Add Broncos Home Cover vs. Raiders for Week 17 NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 9:32 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014 9:32 PM UTC

Denver Broncos look to bounce back against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, close the season on a winning note. Here's our early NFL betting preview for this AFC West showdown and picks to maximise your betting thrills in week 17 of the NFL.

Oakland Raiders (3-12, 0-7 away)
If there is one thing NFL bettors can rely on, it's the Raiders' poor form on the road. It's the only thing that is consistent about the Raiders, actually. They are 0-7 SU on the road with a 15-point margin of defeat. A poor run of form that goes back several seasons. In fact, from 2012 onwards, the Raiders have the dubious honour of propping up the league table with a 2-21 SU record on the road and a debilitating 12.6-point margin of defeat.

Since Tony Sparano took over the coaching duties midway through the season, there have been some measured improvements. Namely, they seem to be playing with spirit and guts. On the road, they Raiders boast a 4-3 ATS mark, having cashed against the spread in matchups with the Jets, Patriots, Seahawks and Chargers. It's clear the Raiders play up to their opponents, particularly when coming up against quality teams. Against the Patriots they covered as the 14-point road underdogs on the NFL odds, as well as the 13.5-point and 10-point road underdogs against the Seahawks and Chargers respectively.

Denver Broncos (11-4, 7-0 home)
So the Broncos lost to the Bengals. It happens. Even the great Peyton Manning can have a bad day in the office. The important thing is to not panic or overreact in the coming week, the ultimate round of NFL betting. Although there's hardly any danger of that is there when the Broncos take on divisional stragglers Oakland Raiders.

Broncos are 7-0 SU at home this season with a 12-point margin of victory behind solid wins over the Colts, Chiefs. Cardinals, Niners, Chargers, Dolphins and Bills – teams that are middleweights or better this season. Raiders hardly fall into the same category.

Overall, the Broncos boast a solid home record, one of the best in the NFL. They are amongst three teams that remain undefeated at home. Since the Peyton Manning era began at Mile High, the Broncos are 23-3 SU with a 14-point margin of victory at home – that's an 88.5 winning percentage on home turf. They are 14-11-1 ATS since 2012.

The Broncos haven't been as successful against the spread with a 3-4 ATS mark going into week 17 NFL betting and they've oscillated between a win-loss against the spread in their last five games. If that win-loss trend continues, they are due a win against the spread in week 17 NFL betting.

NFL Betting Verdict: Broncos -14.5 over Raiders
Whichever way you slice this game, a Broncos win is as close to a sure thing as it can get on the NFL betting floor. The notion the Broncos would lose to the Raiders is absurd. Broncos are 5-0 SU against the Raiders in their last five meetings. So take the Broncos to win SU on your NFL picks.

The sticking point in this game is whether 14.5-points is too many points to be giving the Broncos in this game. Broncos boast  a 5-1 ATS record in their last six meetings with the Raiders. Broncos have covered two straight against the Raiders with spreads of 10-points or higher, including week 10's demolishing of the Raiders, 41-17 in Oakland that handily covered the 12-point spread; a spread that opened on 10-points and hotfooted up to a high of 13.5-points at some sportsbooks before settling on 12-points at closing doors.

Undoubtedly, it's a high spread. We'd like it better if it were around 13-points. But the last two games between this pair saw the Broncos win by 20-plus points. What's more, the Broncos are now between a rock and hard place, so to speak. In losing to the Bengals, they must win this game if they hope to earn a first round bye in the playoffs. Peyton Manning is clutch and under such circumstances, it takes a bold NFL bettor to bet against him. We're taking the Broncos on our NFL picks.

NFL Picks: Broncos -14.5 at 5Dimes

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