The Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders renew their heated rivalry on the second half of a Monday Night Football doubleheader, with both clubs hoping to start the season on a positive note following disappointing 2018 campaigns. Kickoff from the Oakland Coliseum is set for 10:20 p.m. ET. Denver has a new coach on the sideline in Vic Fangio and a new quarterback in Joe Flacco as part of major overhauls following a 6-10 season. The Raiders enter their second year under coach Jon Gruden, who returned for a second stint with the franchise. Last year, he unloaded two superstars as part of a long-term rebuilding project and the team stumbled to a 4-12 mark. The teams split their meetings last season, each team winning in its home stadium. Denver is a 2.5-point favorite and the over-under for total points scored is 42.5 in the latest Raiders vs. Broncos odds. Before locking in your Broncos vs. Raiders picks, see the Monday Night Football predictions from SportsLine's resident West Coast expert, Josh Nagel.
A Nevada-based handicapper with more than 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel has hit a strong 61 percent of his NFL spread picks over the past two seasons. What's more, he has had a particularly keen eye for these AFC West clubs, going 4-2 on against-the-spread picks involving them.
In last year's Week 2 meeting between the clubs in Denver, Nagel told SportsLine members that the Raiders had value as 4.5-point underdogs. The result: Oakland squandered a double-digit lead in the final minutes, but still covered the spread in the 20-19 loss. Anyone who followed Nagel's advice booked another winner, and those who have consistently followed him are way up. Now, Nagel has zeroed in on Broncos vs. Raiders on Monday Night Football.
Nagel knows the new-look Broncos will be eager to make a statement by taking down their heated rival before a national television audience. They showed flashes of promise at times last season, but saw their wild-card hopes dashed with a four-game losing streak to end the season.
Denver parted ways with former coach Vance Joseph after two seasons and replaced him with Fangio, who led the Chicago Bears to the NFL's top-ranked defense last year. The team also moved on from Case Keenum at quarterback and picked up Flacco, who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. The Broncos won their final two preseason games and appear to have bolstered their backfield depth. They are led by Phillip Lindsay, last year's breakout rookie, along with speedster Royce Freeman and veteran Devontae Booker.
The favorite is on a 10-3 run against the spread in this series, but there's no guarantee Denver will cover the Raiders vs. Broncos spread against an Oakland team that will be determined to make a statement of its own.
The club was featured on the popular HBO series "Hard Knocks," casting an even brighter spotlight on one of the NFL's most visible franchises. The Raiders traded for wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was promptly released over the weekend and signed with the New England Patriots.
Even without Brown, the Raiders stocked the cupboard with new talent. Oakland drafted running back Josh Jacobs in the first round. The rookie out of Alabama had over 2,000 yards from scrimmage in his career for the Crimson Tide and, more importantly, will have fresh legs since he wasn't Nick Saban's bellcow back. In fact, Jacobs had only 251 rushing attempts in college.
The Raiders also drafted Hunter Renfrow in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Clemson receiver played in all 15 games for last season's championship team. His underneath routes could mesh well with quarterback Derek Carr. The former walk-on won the Burlsworth Trophy in 2018.
We can tell you Nagel is leaning under, and he's also unearthed the critical X-factor that has him all over one side of the spread. You can only see what it is, and which team to back, at SportsLine.
Who wins Broncos vs. Raiders? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Broncos vs. Raiders spread you should jump on Monday night, all from the seasoned NFL expert who has hit nearly 70 percent of his picks on these teams, and find out.