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Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos Point Spread - Pick

Oakland Raiders (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (2-1 SU, 1-1-1 ATS)
Week 4 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 4:25PM EST
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: OAK +3/DEN -3
Over/Under Total: 46.5

The Oakland Raiders face the Denver Broncos in week four at Mile High in AFC West action. Neither team had a fruitful week three, both taking losses that were a little out-of-range. The Raiders really fell flat in a visit to the Redskins in a 27-10 loss that wasn't even as close as the score indicated. Denver also faced a tough road game, falling short in Buffalo, 26-16. Who can get things back on the right track this week?

Oakland faced a tough road spot last week, as they do again this week, albeit in a more-familiar division setting. After this, they get three straight at home and won't take to the road again until just before Halloween. They'd much rather start that homestand at 3-1 and not 2-2. In some circumstances, you give a team a pass for a performance like what the Raiders put forth last week. Out of conference and out of their element, it just wasn't meant to be. While it paints them in an unflattering light, it would be silly to forecast that kind of production moving forward. If anything, look for them to be eager to clear out the stink from that last game.

There is no way sugar-coat how poorly the offense performed on Sunday against the Redskins on Sunday Night Football. In a spotlight game, the Raiders' offense mentally didn't bring their A-game. Following a two-game stretch where they looked to be the vintage Oakland offense from last season, they converted zero third down conversions, gained a measly 7 first downs, and put up an anemic 128 total yards. It's actually a feat of ineffectiveness to somehow have Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper combine for two catches and 13 yards receiving. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 18 yards. An O-line that was bullying defenses in games one and two looked like a different unit on Sunday night, unable to stop much of anything, while the run game couldn't find holes to exploit. Look for a lot of things to get worked on this week with a better performance on this side of the ball.

Oakland's defense wasn't even all that bad considering how little support they got on the other side of the ball. The Washington offense held the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game and the "D" got winded, allowing 472 yards. They didn't get after Kirk Cousins, as this side of the line-of-scrimmage was also dominated last week. Still. Moving forward, there are things to like, namely a top defensive force in Khalil Mack. The line has gotten a boost with rookie DT Eddie Vanderdoes. The main point of concern appears to be with their secondary, with corners David Amerson and TJ Carrie, along with safeties Reggie Nelson and Karl Joseph a part of the team that looms as a potential problem-area.

Denver also deserves a pass for falling short against Buffalo. Sure, it's a little erratic to blow the Cowboys out, 42-17, and then follow that with a 10-point loss to the Buffalo Bills. But enough good things happened in the first two weeks to warrant some tolerance and this has just been a weird season with the Chiefs the only unbeaten team in the AFC after just three weeks. The Denver defense, usually tough against the pass, gave up a pretty productive day to Tyrod Taylor. And Trevor Siemian, so good against Dallas the previous week, fell flat the following week with two interceptions proving to be costly.

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Siemian was 24-for-40 on Sunday with no touchdowns. The execution was lacking and the line had their worst showing of the season, with Siemian sacked 3 times and under pressure for a lot of the game. There were some good signs and it looks like Jamaal Charles is starting to warm up in this offense after rushing for 59 yards and a TD, while sharing carries with a resurgent CJ Anderson. Receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were pretty productive, along with Benny Fowler, III. In other words, there is some enhanced playmaking ability this season, bolstered by what looks like a much more consistent run-game, along with increased maturation at the quarterback position.

Denver's defense is still a vital part of the recipe and one should expect better moving forward. Von Miller and Brandon Marshall both had sacks on Sunday. The secondary was off their best form and look for a better performance at home this week, although the Oakland aerial attack will be looking to make a point after such a disheartening showing on Sunday. The corner duo of Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, Jr, along with safeties Darian Stewart and Justin Simmons should be tough, especially if the Denver pass-rush materializes this week.

In their two division games last season, each team won at home, with the Broncos beating the Raiders at Mile High, 24-6, in week 17 when Derek Carr was out-of-commission. This is still a tough road assignment even with Carr and coming into Denver for your third road game in four weeks to open the season could lead to some issues. It's just not an ideal spot for the Raiders to get well and I see the Broncos covering the spread.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Denver Broncos minus 3 points. Bet the Oakland vs. Denver game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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