It’s been very busy in Las Vegas over this past week, as we’ve seen the news and subsequent fallout from the leaked Jon Gruden emails. This Sunday, the Raiders will be led by Rich Bisaccia as they travel to Denver to face the Broncos.
Both teams sit on 3-2 records but it feels like both franchises are going in different directions. Who will win on Sunday, though?
Don’t miss our free NFL betting picks and predictions for the Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos, and find out.
Raiders vs Broncos odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Surprisingly we’ve seen no movement at all so far on the various lines around the game. The Denver Broncos have been 3.5-point favorites since opening and the total has remained at 44 too. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.
Raiders vs Broncos picks
Picks made on 10/14/2021 at 2:45 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Raiders vs Broncos game info
• Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
• Date: Sunday, October 17, 2021
• Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
• TV: CBS
Raiders at Broncos betting preview
Raiders: Peyton Barber RB (Out), Richie Incognito G (Out), Damon Arnette CB (Out), Trayvon Mullen CB (Out), Gerald McCoy DT (Out), Quinton Jefferson DT (Questionable), Johnathan Hankins DT (Out).
Broncos: Jerry Jeudy WR (Out), Aaron Patrick LB (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Raiders are 1-4 in the past five road games. Find more NFL betting trends for Raiders vs. Broncos. Find more NFL betting trends for Raiders vs. Broncos.
Raiders vs Broncos predictions
Broncos -3.5 (-110)
Last week we saw Tyson Fury knockout Deontay Wilder in the 11th round of their World Heavyweight Title fight at T-Mobile Arena, but that was far from the biggest knockout in Sin City, with Jon Gruden resigning from the Raiders on Monday. The series of tactical leaks had meant that Gruden’s position as head coach was untenable. It was undoubtedly the right decision but it has left the Raiders in a tricky and very unique position, where they’re appointing an interim head coach with the season still well in full flow.
Rich Bisaccia has been named as the interim head coach and had been doing good work as the team’s special teams coordinator and assistant head coach prior to the scandal emerging. He’s been a coach for 38 years, and the glowing terms in which Mike Mayock has spoken of him indicate that he’s a leader and somebody who might be able to reduce the damage done by Gruden’s sudden departure.
Now they face this AFC West clash against the Broncos with both teams very much in contention and only one win behind the Chargers, and unexpectedly one win ahead of the Chiefs.
The Raiders have outscored the Broncos so far this season, albeit by just 11 points, but they’ve given up considerably more points, with the Broncos total of 76 points the second-lowest conceded by any team. Given a schedule that has seen them face the Jaguars, Giants, and Jets, it’s perhaps fair to question if that low points total is valid, but this defense has been very good and ranks 10th in the league in DVOA, three spots higher than the Raiders.
Mile High is a tough place to go and it’ll be hard for anybody to go into Denver and leave with the W. Despite the improved defense, it’s the offensive side of the ball that has seen the largest improvement this year. The QB battle between Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock this summer always seemed to be more about perception than an actual fight for the starting spot, and Bridgewater has been a massive upgrade, both in terms of the accuracy of his passing and the leadership he has added to the offense.
A cruel injury to Jerry Jeudy might have robbed Bridgewater of a receiver who looked primed to break out but he’s still had Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick, who have brilliant as well as the running backs Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams.
Gordon is questionable for this week but it’s Williams who looks like the real star here, and I’m expecting him to get more and more of the carries as the season progresses and I’m certain that his breakout is about to come.
When it comes to Sunday’s game, it’s going to be hard to look beyond the Broncos. Denver is 4-0 ATS in its last four games after accumulating more than 250 passing yards in their previous game, and will continue that streak against a Raiders team who will be in disarray after a very difficult week.
Under 44.5 (-110)
If you’ve read the above then you’ll no doubt be expecting me to back the Under here. Both of these defenses are good and have the DVOA rankings to prove it.
The Broncos have only given up an average of 292.4 yards of offense per game, the third-lowest average in the league. Meanwhile, the Raiders are 10th and have only given up 339.8 yards per game.
If we look at recent matchups between the two, we can see that the Under is 8-1 in the last nine meetings and to be even more specific it’s 5-1 in their last six meetings at Mile High.
When you combine the strength of those defensive units and the difficult week that the Raiders’ staff have had to endure, I can really picture this being a low-scoring game.
Courtland Sutton Over 62.5 receiving yards (-115)
Courtland Sutton was looking like he could become one of the league’s best wideouts until his 2020 season got ended by a horrific injury. This season he looked to have been overtaken by Jeudy as the team’s alpha, but an injury to Jeudy has helped Sutton get back on track.
Sutton had a slow start as he recovered from that injury but he now looks confident in his body again and the league needs to be on notice. Sutton exploded for 120 receiving yards last week, his second-highest total of the year behind the 159 yards he managed against the Jaguars in Week 2.
He’s been targeted 38 times this season and is yet to have a drop. Not only that but he’s also had more air yards than the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill. He was in a route for 91 percent of passing plays last week, accounting for 32 percent of the Broncos’ targets. If they look to lean heavily on him again this week, then he has a huge chance of smashing the Over on 62.5 receiving yards.