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Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos Odds And Game Pick

by December 31, 2020
Darren Waller

The Las Vegas Raiders played one of the best games of the 2020 NFL season in November against the Kansas City Chiefs. They went back and forth with Patrick Mahomes in a classic duel on Sunday Night Football. They led with under two minutes remaining and had a real chance to sweep the Chiefs in the season series. As it stands today, the Raiders remain the only NFL team to beat the Chiefs in 2020. Clearly, the Raiders have a lot of talent and skill. Yet, after that narrow loss to the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Raiders have not been the same team. They have won only one game over the past month and a half, tumbling from 6-3 all the way to a 7-8 record and elimination from the playoffs. That one win, by the way, was a last-minute victory against the New York Jets in which New York inexplicably played tight man press coverage without any safety help on a long pass the Raiders managed to complete. Even the one Raider win in the past several weeks was a terrible performance. The bottom has fallen out for a team that is now just playing out the string. The Denver Broncos have been out of the playoff picture for a long time. This is just an AFC West rivalry with hate being the main motivation on each side.

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  • Opening Line: Broncos -2
  • Current Line: Raiders -2.5
  • Over/Under: 50.5
  • Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
  • Start Time: 4:25 PM ET
  • Last Meeting: Raiders 37 vs. Broncos 12 (11/15/20)

View consensus picks and matchup notes from top betting experts for the Raiders vs. Broncos >>


The Broncos’ offense has been mediocre the whole year, partly because the quarterback play hasn’t been any good, but mostly because Denver’s receivers – chiefly Courtland Sutton – have not been healthy. It has been hard for the Broncos to have any continuity in their passing game, and they don’t run the ball well enough to provide a counterbalance which can keep opposing defenses guessing. Denver badly needs a quarterback on the free agent market or in a trade, a solid veteran who can stabilize the offense in the short term while Drew Lock learns how to play football and can become the long-term answer for this franchise. The intriguing part of this game from an X-and-O standpoint is if the Raiders’ cornerbacks – who utterly failed last week against the Miami Dolphins – will make the basic mistakes that can open up opportunities for the Broncos’ passing attack.

On the other side of the ball, the Raiders’ offense has become an enigma. Everyone can see the talent on the roster, with tight end Darren Waller emerging as a star this season alongside running back Josh Jacobs and quarterback Derek Carr. However, the Raiders’ receivers have been inconsistent. They don’t run precise routes and can’t easily separate from opposing defensive backs. Defenses can’t stop Waller, but they have been able to contain the other Las Vegas pass catchers.

The Denver defense has had a good year. It hasn’t translated into wins, because the offense is so mediocre, but for a group without Von Miller and Jurrell Casey – two-star players – the Bronco defense has usually held the line. It got wiped out by the Buffalo Bills and the red-hot Josh Allen, but it has played fairly well against the other defenses it has seen this year, including the Kansas City Chiefs, which it held to 22 points a few weeks ago. Fatigue, however, has set in the past few weeks, and there is no question this unit is not as feisty as it was in November. For a lot of teams out of the playoff picture, motivation in this final week of a pandemic season does not figure to be very high.


  • The Raiders are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against the AFC West.
  • The Raiders are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games after giving up more than 350 yards the previous game.
  • The Broncos are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS loss.

Bottom Line

The Raiders are out of the playoffs and could easily sulk their way through this game, but they have a much better offense than the Broncos, as shown in the first meeting between these two teams this season. Denver’s offense has not earned the benefit of the doubt in this matchup or in any circumstance.

Pick: Raiders -2.5

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Dave Golokhov is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Dave, check out his archive and follow him @davegolokhov.