Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Denver Broncos (2-1)
The Raiders suffered a shocking defeat in Washington last week, losing 27-10 in a game that was not nearly as close as the final score. The Raiders managed just 7 first downs all game, compared to 18 for the Redskins. Considering the Raiders were 2-0 going into the game and how talented their roster is, it was a very surprising outcome. As a result, this line has moved from a pick ‘em last week on the early line to the Broncos now being favored by a field goal. About 1 in 4 games are decided by 3 field goal or less, so that’s a significant line movement.
I think that game will likely look like a fluke when all is said and done this season though. On top of that, the Redskins are a quality team, so it’s not necessarily a bad sign that the Redskins were able to defeat them like that in Washington. I’m not sure the same can be said of the Broncos’ loss in Buffalo last week, as Denver’s roster is not quite as talented as the Raiders’ roster and the Bills are a weaker opponent than the Redskins. This line is at -3, suggesting these two teams are even, but I have this line calculated at only -1, so we’re getting some decent line value as a result of the line movement.
It also helps that the Raiders are in their second of two road games, as teams tend to do better in their 2nd straight road game. Teams are 242-260 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 1.02 points per game, as opposed to 353-492 straight up in a road game that’s sandwiched between two home games, getting outscored by an average of 2.93 points per game, a difference of about 2 points. It especially helps that the Raiders are underdogs off a loss, as road underdogs in their 2nd of two road games are 114-76 ATS off of a road loss. Broncos have an upcoming bye, but that could work against them in what should be a tough matchup, as home favorites of 1 to 5.5 are just 40-64 ATS since 2002 before a bye. There’s enough here to take the field goal with some confidence.
Oakland Raiders 23 Denver Broncos 20 Upset Pick +140
Pick against the spread: Oakland +3