Records: Oakland 2-4, 0-3 road, Denver 2-4, 1-2 home.
Where: Invesco Field at Mie High, Denver, Co., 4:15 p.m.
Spread: Denver -9
Trends: The over is 6-2 in the Raiders last 8 games vs. the AFC; The over is 10-1 in the Broncos last 11 games overall; The over is 8-1 in the Broncos last 9 games on grass and 8-1 in their last 9 vs. AFC opponents; The Raiders are 6-2 against the spread in the last 8 meetings against the Broncos.
Key Injuries: Oakland: Out – WR Chaz Shilens, DE John Henderson, QB Jason Campbell; Doubtful – QB Bruce Gradkowski; Questionable – LB Thomas Howard, RB Darren McFadden, DB Walter McFadden, TE Brandon Myers; Probable – RB Michael Bennett. Denver: Out – LB Robert Ayers; Doubtful – S Brian Dawkins; Questionable – WR Eddie Royal, FB Spencer Larsen, CB Andre Goodman, DT Kevin Vickerson.
What To Look For: Thanks to the AFC West being one of the – okay, maybe THE – weakest division in the league, both of these teams are still in the hunt for the playoffs. Yes, we realize they are two games under .500. It’s that bad out there.
Whoever wins this game will have a major advantage through the rest of the season. As for right now, Denver might hold a slight edge, just because it has played a tougher schedule and may be a little bit more in tune. The Broncos have lost to Baltimore and the Jets.
Rookie Tim Tebow scored his first NFL TD last week and his role will slowly expand as the Broncos move into division play for the first time this season. QB Kyle Orton has passed for the second most yards in the league, but will yield some time to Tebow as Denver tries to mix things up for opposing defenses.
The Raiders are coming off a season-worst 179 TOTAL yards last weekend against the Bengals and will absolutely need to improve that if they are to win this game. QB Jason Campbell threw for 83 yards on 8 completions, with 2 INT. His 10.7 passer rating was the worst in the league in 35 years. That performance, coupled with starter Bruce Gradkowski’s injured shoulder, may lead the Raiders to throw former Raven Kyle Boller into the mix as the starting QB this weekend.
The Raiders have lost four in a row on the road and 13 of 18 total away from home. Two of those wins, however, came at Denver, including one in December.
Payton’s Pick: Denver 28, Oakland 21
NFL - NFL betting: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (James Payton) 0
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