The Las Vegas Raiders brought hope back from Cleveland after beating a hobbled Browns team. Don’t let that cloud your judgment this week with the Denver Broncos coming to town. All lines are as of Friday afternoon via Draft Kings.
Smartest Bet: Raiders Over 2.5 Total Touchdowns (+135)
Given what the Raiders offense has done over the last few weeks, this bet may seem insane. They haven’t scored more than two touchdowns in a game since Thanksgiving. Also, they are likely to be without Darren Waller. Still, there is reason to believe that Vegas can reach the over.
First, they are back home, playing a Denver team that is starting to feel like the season might be over, especially with Teddy Bridgewater out. A hot start could break this team. Also, the last time they played, the Raiders had no problem scoring. Even if you have no confidence in the Raiders’ offense, there is reason to have faith on the other side of the ball. Drew Lock at quarterback is always an adventure. He could throw a defensive touchdown, or at least some short fields. The bottom line here is that two and a half is a pretty low bar in the NFL, and +135 is just too good to pass up.
Safest Bet: Josh Jacobs Under 54.5 Yards Rushing (-120)
It’s crazy to say this given how low the line is, but I think the under is a lock. The Raiders simply cannot run the ball. Jacobs, in particular, has had trouble on the ground this year. He is a back that needs a lane because he is not super fast or super shifty. Jacobs is most effective when he can get to the second level clean. Thus, the Raiders have used him a lot more as a receiver, which has limited his carries. The Alabama product has only rushed for 55 yards or more twice this season. I don’t see him eclipsing that mark this week as the Raiders have almost completely abandoned the run at this point.
Best Risky Bet: First Drive Field Goal Made (+500)
If you want to take on long odds, in whose hands would you rather put your fate than Daniel Carlson’s? With this bet, you hope the Raiders can get the ball and get a handful of first downs. If that happens, Carlson has been automatic lately. If Denver gets the ball, the Raiders’ defense could give up enough ground for the always reliable Brandon McManus to have a chance. This is my favorite long shot play in this game.
*Top Photo: Associated Press/Isaac Brekken