NFL Picks: Raiders vs. Broncos Betting the Total

Jason Lake

Monday, September 23, 2013 1:15 PM GMT

Monday, Sep. 23, 2013 1:15 PM GMT

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are pretty good at scoring points. Terrelle Pryor and the Oakland Raiders are not. Not every total is so easy for NFL bettors to figure out.

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to September 20 inclusive:

9-6-1 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

0-3 Totals 

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Yup, that’s a big bagel sitting right there. Three games isn’t nearly enough to fret about, but it sure would’ve been nice to hit a total by now. At least we’ve got nearly three weeks of data to help us out, and as we go to press, the UNDER is the preferred choice of sharp bettors at 25-21 (54.3 percent) on the NFL odds. But can the UNDER handle the golden right arm of one Mr. Peyton Williams Manning this Monday night?

Take a look at our NFL Picks: Raiders vs. Broncos Opening Odds Report

Our Quarterback Is an Awesome Quarterback 

Two years ago, Manning was a member of the Indianapolis Colts, and his career was in jeopardy due to surgeries on his neck and spine. So the Colts let him go. Manning signed with the Denver Broncos in 2012, and voilà, Denver is arguably the best team in the NFL right now. That’s the way Football Outsiders sees it, putting the Broncos in top spot on the efficiency charts after two weeks of the 2013 season. 

If you love to bet on the NFL, you might feel the same way. The Broncos are 2-0 SU and ATS heading into their Monday Night Football matchup (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) with the visiting Oakland Raiders. And the OVER is 2-0 thanks in large part to Manning’s nine TD passes. Our consensus reports show the OVER picking up 65 percent support with a total of 48.5 points on the NFL odds board. That seems like a makeable total for Manning and the Broncos – if the Raiders can hold up their end of the bargain.

Take a look at our NFL Picks: Raiders vs. Broncos Betting the Spread

Down by the Bay 

The 2013 campaign hasn’t been nearly as disastrous for the Oakland Raiders as many feared. The Raiders have split their first two games, cashing in both times. QB Terrelle Pryor’s running game (22 carries for 162 yards) has made up for his weaknesses in the vertical department (one TD pass, two INTs), although not enough to light up the scoreboard by any means. The UNDER is 0-2 for Oakland thus far. 

Some of the “blame” has to go to Oakland’s opponents. The Indianapolis Colts welcomed the Raiders in Week 1 and snuffed out Pryor’s attempt at a game-winning drive, leaving the final score Colts 21, Raiders 17 (UNDER 45). Then the Jacksonville Jaguars came to town and, well, they’re the Jacksonville Jaguars. Oakland won that matchup 19-9 (UNDER 40.5). That’s how the Raiders ended up allowing the fewest points in the AFC going into Week 3.

Feeling exotic? Take a look at our favorite NFL Betting Props for tonight's game.

That’s Not Efficient 

Having crunched all the relevant numbers, Football Outsiders has Oakland’s defense ranked No. 19 overall in the NFL, including No. 17 against the pass and No. 20 against the run. That’s probably not going to cut it Monday night. The Broncos have the No. 2-ranked offense in the league after two weeks (No. 1 passing, No. 14 rushing). And those stats were compiled against two teams that are supposed to be good at defense: the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants. Manning made both of them look silly.

Denver also got some help in the running department from Knowshon Moreno (5.5 yards per carry), whom we saw torch the Raiders for 119 yards and a TD last December. But it took 32 carries to get there, as Oakland defended well enough to keep the final score respectable: Broncos 26, Raiders 13 (UNDER 47). Their Week 4 matchup also went UNDER 47, when Denver flattened Oakland 37-6.

They never make it easy, do they? But the way Manning and the Broncos have been performing, I’ll have to put my money on the OVER. 

NFL Pick: Take OVER 48.5 at bet365
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