Raiders vs. Broncos NFL Picks: Betting 'Over' 43.5 the Sharp Move

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, December 10, 2015 7:47 PM GMT

In what could turn out to be one of the more entertaining games of Week 14, the Raiders head into Denver for a divisional battle. The Broncos come in as -7 home favorites in the NFL odds.

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NFL Pick: Over 43.5 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Osweiler Knocks Out Manning
When it comes to veteran players in the NFL, sometimes an injury comes along and knocks you out for a few games, and you are a starter no longer because a younger player takes over and plays better. Opportunity is probably the most important thing in the NFL, and since Brock Osweiler took over the starting gig in Denver, the Broncos have won every game. That’s not a great look for Peyton Manning, so while we say a short prayer for Manning as the Broncos starter this year and probably forever, this week’s matchup for Osweiler presents some nice advantages.

The Raiders are giving up 271 passing yards per game this season, and while their run defense isn’t bad, they are right in the middle of the pack when it comes to rushing defense. If Osweiler can limit his turnovers this week, the Broncos should have no problem winning. The problem is Osweiler has also turned the ball over once in his last two games, and last week against an otherwise weak Chargers defense, Osweiler only mustered up 166 passing yards on 16/26 with one touchdown and a pick. This was probably the first of his three wins where you question whether he might be a solid replacement for Manning the rest of the way through. If he plays badly again this week at home against another sub par defense, we might start to hear some talk about when Manning might be back.

 

The Sharp Pick
When I first saw this line I really wanted to take the points against the NFL odds with the Raiders in hopes of another bad Osweiler game. However, I can’t bring myself to do it against this Denver defense. However, the defense is an interesting part of my play. The Broncos are almost impossible to run on, however, they can be thrown on at times, and the Raiders offense has been very successful this season tossing the pigskin. The Raiders threw the ball for 249, a touchdown and a pick against the Broncos the first time out, and they will likely try to throw the ball even more when their run game is unsuccessful. Latavius Murray rushed for only 39 yards on 13 carries in their first matchup, so it might be a game where Derek Carr throws the ball 40 times.

If that’s the case, it’s likely because the Broncos have rebounded on offense and are running up the score. With a total of 43½ points, the Broncos’ defense gives us the advantage of the total being lower, but the game script in certain instances looks like the over could be a sneaky and valuable play. Oakland is 7-3-2 cashing the over this season, and dating back to last season, they have now cashed the over in 10 of their last 15 games overall, and in six of their last nine on the road. The over is also 5-1 in the last six meetings these two have had from Denver. Look for a game more like the New England game, and take the over as the NFL pick.