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NFL Football Picks — Denver Broncos vs Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders Football

Will Las Vegas Raiders vs Denver Broncos Game Be a “Lock” For Us?

By Charles Jay

Those making NFL football picks at BetAnySports this week have had to navigate their way around a lot of things this week, including the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holidays and the outbreaks of COVID that have affected the availability of players.

One of those games that is hard to pick, mostly because of injuries, is the AFC West encounter between the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders, which takes place at Allegiant Stadium on the Strip at 4:25 PM ET.

Because the playoff field has expanded to include three wild cards in each conference, both of these squads are still in the running to be playing in the postseason. And at the same time, one or both of them will likely be dismissing a coach at the end of the season.

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NFL Football Picks —  Where they stand

The Raiders and Broncos are both 7-7, and so they join a whole lot of teams who still have playoff hope as we come down to the last few weeks of the season. Denver has done better against the pointspread (7-7 ATS) than the guys in Silver and Black (5-9 ATS).

NFL Football Picks — Where they are trending

Denver seems to be going in a better direction than the Raiders at the moment. They have tightened things up on the defensive end, and have allowed more than 22 points only once over the last eight games.

Las Vegas has scored more than 16 points just once in their last seven games. And understandably, in those seven games they have registered just one covering effort. So they will not only have some work to do,they will have to demonstrate some real progress on the offensive side of the football in order to play extra games this season.

NFL Football Picks — Here are the numbers….

In the NFL football odds posted on this game, as they appear at BetAnySports, this contest would be a toss-up:

Denver Broncos – pick
Las Vegas Raiders

Over 41 points -110
Under 41 points -110

Don’t forget that you can get reduced juice on this game, and that means more value in the odds!

NFL Football Picks — Lock is a key

Of course, we’re doing plays on words here. But the truth is, Drew Lock is a central figure in this game. Denver’s second-round draft pick in 2019, and at the time he was considered somewhat “NFL ready” and also a “quarterback of the future.” Well, we can reasonably suggest that he has been neither.

Lock is being pressed into service as the starting quarterback as Teddy Bridgewater is sidelined with a concussion. He’s only got 40 attempts this season, completing 22, but there is considerable question as to whether he could even be a backup in the future.

Of course, the future is very much in doubt for the Broncos in general. We’re talking about the ownership, the football boss, John Elway, and head coach Vic Fangio.

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NFL Football Picks — How can the Broncos win?

The best bet for Denver, given the erratic nature of Lock, is to try to get the ground game established and then let the defense take care of the rest.

With Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, they have a very nice running back duo. Of course, by now Williams’ penchant for breaking tackles is well-known; he has 815 yards and 4.8 yards per carry. Gordon has 769 yards on the season. The Broncos have averaged 154.5 yards on the ground over the last four games.

NFL Football Picks —  How can the Raiders win?

Las Vegas could win this game by stretching the field. It has been demonstrated that Derek Carr is less effective unless he has downfield threats, and that is why the horrific actions of Henry Ruggs have had a deleterious effect on what’s happened on the field. Is DeSean Jackson an answer? Since his arrival, he’s caught just seven passes in eleven targets, but many would suggest he’s not being used enough.

Fangio is a defensive maestro whose defenses are designed to take explosive plays away from opponents. And tight end Darren Waller, who is Carr’s preferred target when healthy, is listed as doubtful with a knee injury.

Las Vegas’ ground attack is something that is potentially helpful, but Kenyan Drake is hurt, Josh Jacobs has averaged 3.7 yards per carry, and the Raiders have topped 100 rushing yards just once in the last six games.

NFL Football Picks — Our conclusion

Denver’s defense can handle the Raiders, but that doesn’t necessarily spell victory, Our better play is to go UNDER the total – where the Broncos have been in seven of their last eight games.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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