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Statschecker highlights five important factors to consider for the late Monday night game
ANALYSIS

You may feel like you’ve already watched the Raiders play for a full season after spending all of preseason with them via Hard Knocks. The reality is that Oakland and Denver will be the last two NFL teams to officially start their respective regular seasons when they tangle on Monday Night Football.

Watching Gruden knock on wood via the magic of HBO does not qualify you to bet on this game. Obviously, it gives you no information on the Broncos. Instead of going on what you saw on television, make sure you check out our new stats page to get every bit of information possible on the match-up.

In this piece, we’ll pick five intriguing nuggets available on the new site for your review. We encourage you to dive into statschecker for yourself, but if you don’t, at least give this piece some consideration before you make your Monday Night Football bets.

1. The Broncos go under a lot

Last season, Denver only managed to hit the over point total three times. That means they paid off via the under 13 times. For the record, that was dead last in the NFL.

There are two strong reasons why Denver games tend to be low scoring. The positive spin is that the Broncos defense has a lot of talent. Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and company can make life really hard on an opposing quarterback. To put it plainly, this won’t be a comfortable evening for Derek Carr.

On the flip side, it’s also a sign that Denver’s offense can get stuck in the mud really easily. Broncos’ officials hope the acquisition of Joe Flacco can change that, but the Ravens let him walk for a reason. 42.5 appears to have settled in as the over/under for this game. Think strongly about betting on the Broncos to continue their streak of low-scoring affairs.

2. Antonio Brown’s departure could have a big impact

Originally, it looked like Brown was going to miss this game due to suspension, and then it looked as though he was going to play. It’s now safe to say he definitely won’t be playing, as he’s now a Patriot. Of course his absence will hold implications on the Raiders’ passing game, but the major question is, how will it affect the team mentally?

Oakland are now 2.5pt dogs at home to a uninspiring Broncos team. Their new star player is no longer with them and their at a loss for offensive weapons. All it could take is a lackluster first quarter from Derek Carr, and this game could fall away from them, if defensive heads drop.

3. The Raiders are weak against the spread

Oakland was one of the worst teams in the NFL last season. Their record against the spread wasn’t much better. The Raiders’ 6-10 mark ATS was only good enough to finish 28th in the league.

The rhetoric emanating from Oakland is that things will be much different for Gruden in year two. In all fairness, the roster does have more young talent than it did a year ago. Emphasize the word “young” in that last sentence. A lot of key Raiders will be playing their first game in the NFL on Monday night. If they get behind early, a one-sided victory for Denver is certainly in play.

4. Night games can be tricky for Denver

The Raiders don’t figure to have an electric home field advantage in their last season in Oakland, but things could be frisky on opening night. That’s bad news for a Denver team that already struggles to play when the sun goes down.

Since 2016, the Broncos are only 3-12 when it comes to half time/full time results in night games. Again, Denver hopes a veteran signal caller like Flacco can withstand any sort of crowd advantage Oakland might enjoy. If you believe in Flacco, feel free to disregard that point. If you have questions about his ability to play well at this stage of his career, then you should pay a lot of attention to Denver’s struggles at night.

5. The Raiders won’t win big

Don’t buy too much into the preseason hype the Raiders have produced. Their chances of winning this game handily are almost non-existent. Since 2015, Oakland is a shoddy 3-29 as a home team trying to win by 14 or more points. In other words, if you think the Raiders are going to win in a blowout you should find a different sport to bet on.

As always, I encourage you to take a long look at our stats site before you make your plays for the weekend. There’s a lot of great information in there about the Broncos/Raiders game. Check it out if you want to strengthen your wagers for all of this weekend’s games.

By Rucker Haringey

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