Denver Broncos vs Las Vegas Raiders (12/26/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Denver Broncos vs Las Vegas Raiders Matchup Preview (12/26/21)

The Denver Broncos travel to Sin City this weekend for an AFC West divisional matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. Both teams enter the weekend with a 7-7 record — the Broncos coming off a 5 point loss to the Bengals at home, and the Raiders coming off a 2 point win against the Browns on the road. In a stacked division that features the Chiefs and Chargers, the Broncos and Raiders occupy the last two spots in the AFC West. Despite this, both teams remain in playoff contention, though a loss on Sunday will all but dash any hope either of these teams has of playing in January.

Denver Broncos vs Las Vegas Raiders Betting Odds

Betting Trends

Broncos are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games following a ATS loss
Broncos are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games following a straight up loss.
Broncos are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. AFC
Raiders are 20-45-1 ATS in their last 66 games as a favorite
Raiders are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win
Raiders are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. AFC West

The Pick

This game is going to come down to a battle between Derek Carr and the Denver secondary. The Broncos force opposing quarterbacks into the third worst completion percentage of any team and, on average, hold them to just 212 yards a game. It’s the best defense Vegas has faced all season and they’re going to need to establish some momentum in the running game to move the ball. The emergence of Hunter Renfrow at WR has been a vital development for this Vegas offense, though he struggled to get going last weekend against a strong Cleveland passing defense. So long as Teddy Bridgewater remains in concussion protocols, it’s hard to put too much stock into Denver offensively, though they won’t need to do too much against a Vegas team which has struggled to score as of late and will struggle even more against Denver. If Teddy plays, I’d hammer Denver in this one, and, if he doesn’t, I still like the Broncos, albeit to a lesser degree.

My Prediction: Broncos win and cover 19-17, under hits (u42)

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TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, December, 26
Time: 4:25 PM ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium — Paradise, NV
TV Coverage: CBS

Denver Broncos vs Las Vegas Raiders Live Stream

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Injuries

Denver Broncos: QB Teddy Bridgewater (Concussion) Q, G Graham Glasgow (Ankle) O, DE Dre’Mont Jones (Foot) Q, ILB Josey Jewell (Torn Pectoral) O, ILB Kenny Young (Concussion) Q, WR DaeSean Hamilton (Torn ACL) O
Las Vegas Raiders: None

Denver Broncos Analysis

You can spell “Denver” without an O, but you sure can’t spell it without D and there’s no better way to describe this Broncos team. Their defense ranks fourth in the NFL in yards per game, giving up just 319 an outing. They hold opponents to below 18 points a game on average — tied with buffalo for second best in the league —, and they’re the only defense in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in both passing and rushing yards per game allowed. They rank third in the NFL in yards per point at 18.3 yds/pt and are the third best red zone defense, allowing touchdowns on just 48.39% of opponent red zone drives. Analytics aside, they have schematically shut down Justin Herbert, Dak Prescott, and Patrick Mahomes at different times this season with their versatile secondary that has the personnel to go man coverage against the likes of Tyreek Hill and Keenan Allen.

On the offensive end, this team has been average to below average for a majority of the season. They rank 15th in total yards per game led by their rushing attack of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon. The emergence of Williams as a legitimate number one rushing threat has been a godsend for a Broncos team that has dealt with widespread injury problems at the wide receiver position this year. As Melvin Gordon continues to get healthier, this dual threat could be something to keep an eye on — especially as the weather worsens through December and January. The Broncos are 18th in the NFL in passing yards per game, though starter Teddy Bridgewater had to sit much of last week’s game against the Bengals in concussion protocols. Bridgewater remains questionable for Sunday’s game against the Raiders.

Denver Broncos Depth Chart

QB: Teddy Bridgewater
RB1: Javonte Williams
RB2: Melvin Gordon III
WR1: Jerry Jeudy
WR2: Tim Patrick
WR3: Courtland Sutton
TE1: Noah Fant

Las Vegas Raiders Analysis

If the Raiders hadn’t endured a mid-season slump that saw them lose 5 of 6 games, it’s very possible that Derek Carr would be an MVP favorite heading into the final three weeks of the season. The Raiders have the fourth best yards per game passing offense in the NFL and only Tom Brady has more passing yards on the season than Carr. The Raiders rank sixth in the league in yards per pass attempt (7.8yds) and seventh in yards per completion (10.9 yds). They rank 8th in passing first downs per game, but only 18th in passing touchdowns per game. This discrepancy between yards and touchdowns could explain why the Raiders are tied for last in the AFC West despite their impressive numbers on paper.

Like most teams who register near the top of the league in passing statistics, this Raiders team has struggled to run the ball. With only 85 yards and 22 carries a game, they register in the bottom 5 of the league in nearly every major rushing statistic — something that could be a difference maker against a Denver defense that has more trouble defending the run than the pass.

Defensively, the Raiders are one of the few teams in the NFL capable of pressuring opposing quarterbacks by rushing 4 guys. Yannick Ngakoue, Solomon Thomas, and Maxx Crosby have led the way up front, accumulating 17.5 sacks and 55 tackles as a trio this season. They have had some problems defending the run, though, giving up over 122 yards a game — eighth worst in the NFL.

Las Vegas Raiders Depth Chart

QB: Derek Carr
RB1: Josh Jacobs
RB2: Peyton Barber
RB3: Jalen Richard
WR1: Hunter Renfrow
WR2: DeSean Jackson
WR3: Bryan Edwards
TE1: Foster Moreau

Denver Broncos vs Las Vegas Raiders Fantasy Picks

Against a Denver secondary that has exposed the likes of Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes, Vegas is going to have to run the ball to establish a rhythm on offense. Josh Jacobs has become the clear go-to in the running game for this Raider team and I expect him to get over 15 carries and 55 yards on Sunday in a divisional war of attrition. The RB is currently listed at $6,000 on DraftKings and $6,800 on FanDuel.

As a central Ohio native and lifelong Cleveland sports fan, Patrick Monnin has lived the emotional rollercoaster every sports fan knows all too well. Whether it be the Browns or the Buckeyes, he loves watching football and going on nice long runs in the afternoon. In the local Chicago area, where he now lives, he can often be found making the case for LeBron James as the greatest basketball player ever.

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