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NFL Lines – Denver Broncos Face Oakland Raiders

Posted by Marcello Messina on 9/10/2011 2:14:14 PM

The Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos will close Week 1 Sunday games with their AFC West divisional NFL lines matchup.

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos
Live from Sports Authority Field at Mile High – CO
Tipoff: 10:15 PM EST Sunday, September 12, 2011
Broadcast: ESPN

NFL Lines
Denver Broncos -3
Oakland Raiders +3
Total 40.5

The final Week 1 game consists of a Monday Night NFL lines matchup between the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos.

While most bettors seem to think the Denver defense will win or lose this NFL lines game, I beg to differ. Sure, the Broncos did allow Oakland to score a near-record-breaking 59 points against them in their first matchup last season on October 24. And yes, I’ll give you the point that Denver’s defense probably didn’t help on December 19 either when they let the Raiders pile up 502 yards in a 39-23 loss.

Obviously, if Denver wants to come out of this game 1-0, they need to stop the Raiders’ running game. The Broncos allowed Darren McFadden to rush for 284 yards and 3 touchdowns in their two matches.

But all I’m trying to say here is that Denver’s offense – which will be the deciding factor in this NFL lines match – didn’t help the cause. In those two games, the Broncos combined for a mere 37 points and just 475 all-purpose yards (both these stats are less than the numbers Oakland posted in either of those games).

If the Broncos want to win their season opener this NFL lines Monday, they need their offense to be successful. In particular, their ground attack needs some serious improvement.

Simply put, Denver’s rushing offense was awful last season, especially when matched up against their AFC West divisional rivals. They managed to average just 96.5 rushing yards per game – ranked 26th overall – and lost eight fumbles – 3rd-worst in the NFL.

Specifically against the Raiders, they scored just 1 touchdown and averaged 90.5 rushing yards in their two head-to-head NFL lines matchups. To boot, their leading running back, Knowshon Moreno, combined for less than 60 yards in those two games.

Unfortunately for Denver, nothing has really changed over the course of this offseason to either the Broncos’ running game or Oakland’s defensive line. And you know what they say; it’s foolish to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Expect the same kind of domination from the Raiders defense with the same kind of Denver offense attacking it.

Marcello’s Prediction: Oakland Raiders: 28, Denver Broncos: 13

Messina Mention: After a franchise-worst 4-12 season, the Denver Broncos have nowhere to go but up!

NFL Expert Pick: Oakland Raiders -3

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