Raiders at Broncos Pick
by Doug Harper – The Raiders have been respectable so far. They handled the Jags easily and put up a good fight against the Colts, which looks even better after yesterday, but Denver is the legitimate Super Bowl favorite right now. I suspect the Raiders will play well but eventually get overmatched tonight.
16 points makes me nervous, along with Clady’s injury, which is why I’m looking at the total. I always look to bet the under first, and tonight it makes sense. Here’s the deal. Pryor is obviously limited in the passing game, so we’re likely to see a lot of McFadden. The problem with that is Denver has a great defense, particularly against the run (#1 ranked run defense). Clady’s loss could very well mean the Broncos rely a little more on the run themselves until his replacement proves he’s up to protecting Manning.
The public is betting the over at 82%, so I’ll wait until game time to see if the line moves to 51, which is an important number when betting totals.
Total Tackles & Assists – Charles Woodson (OAK) over 5½: Tonight’s best bet. Woodson is clearly a declining player, but tackle props is about opportunities & he’ll have tons tonight. Tyvon Branch is out which lessens the chances of Woodson leaving the field & common sense tells us that Broncos will dominate the time of possession. I suggest the Clady injury will mean more running plays for Denver too… a perfect storm.
Total Tackles & Assists – Duke Ihenacho (Den) over 5½: Let’s just stick with the safeties tonight. Duke is a little banged up & Oakland might not get many snaps. It’s risky, but hey… we ARE gamblers. 5½ is just too low. If it’s a trap, I’m caught.