Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (+10.5, 48)
With a division title already in their pocket, the Denver Broncos still have a first-round bye in their sights as they prepare for Thursday night's road game against the AFC West-rival Oakland Raiders in the Week 14 opener. Denver secured its 12th division crown with a 31-23 home triumph over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Broncos, who have repeated as AFC West champions for the first time since 1986-87.
With four contests remaining, Denver is tied for the second seed in the conference with the AFC East champion New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens, who all are two games behind the top-seeded Houston Texans. The Broncos manhandled the Raiders in Week 4 as Peyton Manning threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns while Willis McGahee rushed for 112 yards and a score. Oakland enters the rematch hoping to end its losing streak, which reached five games with a 20-17 setback against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The Raiders have allowed an average of 37.8 points during their slide.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network.
LINE: Denver opened as high as a 12-point favorite and has been bet down to as low as -10. The total has moved from 49.5 to 48.
WEATHER: The forecast is calling for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 50s. Winds are expected to blow west at 5 mph.
CONSENSUS: Covers Consensus is siding with the Broncos, with 54 percent on Denver. As for the total, 51 percent of consensus picks are on the under.
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (9-3, 6-6 ATS): Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway was elated to acquire Manning last offseason. The former Broncos superstar quarterback has watched Manning pass him on two lists in the last two weeks. After moving past Elway for second place on the NFL's all-time list for victories by a starting QB, Manning set the franchise record for most touchdown passes in a single season on Sunday with three scoring tosses that raised his total to 29. He eclipsed the previous mark shared by Elway and Jake Plummer. The Broncos are not satisfied with winning the division title, a sentiment echoed throughout the locker room following Sunday's win. "That's not our biggest goal," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "It's just one thing out of the way." Coach John Fox added, "It's just a starting point, really."
ABOUT THE RAIDERS (3-9, 3-9 ATS): Oakland's losing streak is its longest since the club dropped six in a row in 2007 under first-year coach Lane Kiffin. Tight end Brandon Myers had 14 receptions Sunday against Cleveland, matching the franchise record set versus Jacksonville on Dec. 21, 1997, by Tim Brown. Myers now has 69 catches on the season, the most by a Raiders tight end since Todd Christensen hauled in 95 passes in 1986. Quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown for 300 yards in seven games this season. It's the most 300-yard performances by an Oakland signal-caller since Rich Gannon had 10 in 2002. Coach Dennis Allen believes RBs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson will be in the lineup Thursday. Allen left the Raiders following Sunday's game to be with his father, who is dealing with a serious medical issue, but is expected to rejoin the team Wednesday.
* Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Oakland.
* Broncos are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 meetings.
* Underdog is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 meetings.
* Road team is 7-2 ATS in their last nine meetings.
* Broncos are 0-11 ATS when 8-point faves or more on the road.
1. Fox is the second coach in NFL history to inherit a last-place club and guide it to division titles in his first two years.
2. Oakland K Sebastian Janikowski's 51-yard field goal on Sunday was the 40th of his career of at least 50 yards, tying him with Morten Andersen for third place on the all-time list in that category.
3. Janikowski has converted 124 consecutive extra points and is 24-for-26 on field-goal attempts this season. His only two misses were from 64 and 61 yards.