Thursday, November 3, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (Week 9, 2011-12)

The Oakland Raiders won the regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos in Denver. The Raiders have since replaced Jason Campbell with Carson Palmer. Will Palmer give them more of an offensive spark? Do the Raiders play poorly as a favorite?

The early spread on this game is Raiders (-8). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for in pick ’em leagues. All lines from Y! Sports and injury reports from CBS Sports as of November 3, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week. Please note that ATS means “Against the spread.”

*MY* Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
Denver Broncos 5-2
Oakland Raiders 4-3

Key Injuries
S Quinton Carter, T Orlando Franklin, CB Cassius Vaughn, TE Kevin Boss, RB Darren McFadden (Doubtful), QB Jason Campbell (Out), CB Chris Johnson (IR)

Keys to the Game
  • Can the Broncos contain the Raiders’ run game?
  • How will Carson Palmer respond after his rough start?
  • The injury to Darren McFadden
  • The Raiders have had two weeks of rest and preparation
  • What is Denver’s mental state after that loss to the Detroit Lions
  • Which quarterback will avoid the foolish turnovers?
  • Can Eric Decker have another impact on special teams?

The Raiders were 6-0 against AFC West teams last season. That’s what made their home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs so surprising. They’ve had two weeks to prepare and rest for this contest against the Broncos. The Broncos are reeling after their loss to the Detroit Lions last week.

The big injury is that Darren McFadden probably won’t play. That’ll make life a bit more difficult for Carson Palmer as he makes his starting debut. It’s still hard to pick the Broncos after seeing Tim Tebow these past two weeks. That offense has been irrelevant outside of the fourth quarter and overtime.

There are a few awkward trends that lead me to pick the Broncos on the spread. While the Raiders are 3-0 ATS in away games, they’re 1-2-1 at home ATS. They’re also 0-1-1 as a favorite while they’re 4-1 as an underdog. The Broncos are 2-5 ATS overall but they’re 2-1 ATS on the road.

Raiders win a sluggish game in Palmer’s debut as a starting quarterback. Consider the (-8) if McFadden plays though.

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: Denver Broncos (+8)
Straight: Oakland Raiders 16, Denver Broncos 13

Stat sources:

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