Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders Matchup Preview (11/15/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
The Broncos and Raiders are seemingly in two different places as franchises right now. The Raiders are vying for a playoff spot, and Gruden is showing why he was worth his massive head coaching contract. Meanwhile, the Broncos are still trying to figure out whether Drew Lock is the right fit and thinking more about next year than this year. Either way, the battle between these two football teams is going to be entertaining with a lot on the line for the Raiders and for Locks’ future. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, November 15th, 2020
Time: 4:05 PM ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium – Las Vegas, Nevada
TV Coverage: CBS
Broncos vs. Raiders Live Stream
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Denver Broncos: WR Jerry Jeudy (shoulder) Q, CB Bryce Callahan (ankle) Q, WR Diontae Spencer (shoulder) Q, OT Demar Dotson (groin) Q, OT Jake Rodgers (shoulder) Q, LB Joe Jones (calf) O, LB Mark Barron (hamstring) IR eligible to return, TE Jake Butt (hamstring) IR eligible to return, DE Shelby Harris (COVID-19) IR, Albert Okwuegbunam (ACL) IR, OT Elijah Wilkinson (shin) IR, DT Mike Purcell (foot) IR
Las Vegas Raiders: OG Gabe Jackson (illness) Q, OT Kolton Miller (ankle) D, DT Maurice Hurst (ankle) O, LB Corey Littleton (COVID-19) IR, OT Trent Brown (COVID-19) IR, CB Damon Arnette (thumb) IR eligible to return, C Richie Incognito (Achilles) IR eligible to return
Denver Broncos Analysis
Drew Lock finally threw for 300+ yards for the first time in his career last week against the Falcons, but that headline-catching stat overshadowed an inefficient afternoon from the second-year quarterback. He completed just 52% of his passes and threw another interception, his sixth of the season – that gives him more turnovers than touchdowns this season. His QBR of 38.9 ranks as the third-worst among all qualified passers (minimum 135 passes). The Raiders have just 5 takeaways this season, tied for the fewest in the NFL, and they’ve allowed 267.1 passing yards per game, the seventh-most in the NFL, so Lock should be able to produce in this game, but his inefficiency continues to be concerning for his team. Denver has allowed its quarterbacks to be sacked 21 times this season and have allowed the 9th-highest adjusted sack rate.
While Lock’s passing numbers weren’t terribly efficient last week, he did contribute with 7 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown. That was much-needed as Melvin Gordon and Philip Lindsay combined for just 14 carries for 41 yards in the game. Denver has run for just 893 yards this season as a team, the 11th-lowest output among all NFL teams. Both Gordon and Lindsay rank inside the top 20 for RB DVOA this season per Football Outsiders, but Denver’s offensive line has held them back. The Broncos have allowed their rushers to be stuffed at the line of scrimmage on 21% of rushes, the highest rate in the NFL, and rank as the fifth-worst run-blocking offensive line per FO.
The Broncos’ passing attack has seen it’s a fair share of turmoil as Courtland Sutton was lost for the year early on, Noah Fant has dealt with injuries of his own, and rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam hit Injured Reserve with a season-ending torn ACL. However, rookie receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler have started to break out over the past couple of weeks. Jeudy had 7 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons last week, while Hamler had 6 catches for 75 yards in the same game. The Raiders’ secondary has been very beatable, so we should expect strong games from both of these guys. However, Jeudy is questionable with a shoulder injury, so we need to keep an eye on the practice reports. If he can’t go, Hamler would be in line for a significant target share.
Defensively, it’s been a brutal year for Denver. The Broncos have allowed 27.1 points per game, the 11th-most, and 360.4 yards per game, the 17th-most. Football Outsiders is still pretty kind to the Broncos, ranking them as the 9th-best defense in DVOA (12th-best pass defense, 13th-best run defense). However, significant injuries to Von Miller, Jurrell Casey, Shelby Harris, A.J. Bouye, Bryce Callahan, and others throughout the season have seriously limited this team. If both Bouye and Callahan miss this week, a distinct possibility, the Broncos’ pass defense would be hard-pressed to stop an efficient Raiders attack. Denver does have 22 sacks through 8 games, the 8th-most in the NFL, so their pass rush has survived sans Miller and their run defense has done well. However, with an injury-littered secondary, I’m concerned about the Denver defense this week.
Denver Broncos Depth Chart
Las Vegas Raiders Analysis
While Denver’s Drew Lock has seen his season marred by inconsistency and inefficiency, the opposite has been true for Vegas’s Derek Carr. Carr has a QBR of 77 this season, the 10th-best rate among all qualified passers (minimum 135 passes). He’s completed 70.6% of his passes for 2,277 yards and has thrown for 16 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions. The Raiders brought in Marcus Mariota over the offseason to push Derek Carr, and it seems to have worked as he has turned into the hyper-efficient passer this team needs. The Broncos’ secondary is in shambles right now as they allowed Matt Ryan to throw for 284 yards and 3 touchdowns with a QBR of 95 last week, and I’m expecting Carr to have a strong performance here.
Josh Jacobs has been solid but unspectacular for the Raiders as he ranks 25th among all running backs with 72+ carries in DVOA per Football Outsiders. He has rushed for just 3.7 YPC after hitting 4.8 YPC last year and has been hampered by a Raiders’ offensive line dealing with some injuries. However, Jacobs already has 6 rushing touchdowns, putting him on pace for 12 over the course of the season. The Broncos have held opposing running backs to just 4.3 yards per carry, putting them in the middle-of-the-pack, but they have allowed just 0.8 rushing touchdowns per game, which is the seventh-best mark in football. Jacobs’s efficiency may not be there this week, but he has 18+ touches in all but two games this season, so you can count on the workload to be there for him.
The Raiders added two much-hyped rookie receivers during the draft in Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, but it has been Nelson Agholor who’s been the real difference-maker for them as the former Eagles’ receiver has now scored a touchdown in five of eight games this season and has seen a steady target share in this offense. Ruggs has been a big play waiting to happen, but he didn’t have a single catch last week, and he’s far more impactful to his teammates’ ability to get open underneath than his production would suggest. Hunter Renfrow has also been pretty solid at times this year. Of course, Darren Waller is the go-to target in this offense and already has 50 catches for 394 yards and 4 touchdowns through 8 games this season. Derek Carr’s passing volume comes and goes, but both A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan are dealing with injuries, so the Raiders’ passing attack could have some easy sledding this week.
While Vegas’s offense has been very efficient, their defense has been among the worst in the NFL. They’ve allowed 28.6 points per game, the 9th-most, and 385.6 yards per game, the 10th-most. Football Outsiders does not like this defense as they’re ranked as the third-worst in overall DVOA including the seventh-worst pass defense and the worst run defense overall. Denver’s offense has started to make some strides as of late and they should be more than capable of putting up points against this weak defense, especially as this game is being played indoors.
Las Vegas Raiders Depth Chart
Spread: Raiders -3.5, Broncos +3.5
Moneyline: Raiders -200, Broncos +170
Over/Under: 50.5 points
The Broncos were consistently one of the teams with the lowest over-under totals early in the season, but that’s changed as this offense has started to heat up as of late as they’ve averaged 27 points per game over the past two weeks. The Raiders, meanwhile, are short home favorites over a team they’ve played better than all year. In their last three meetings, the Broncos have gone 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS against the Raiders. In fact, the Raiders have covered ATS in each of their last five games against the Broncos. I believe this will be a high-scoring game, and I would angle towards the over here, but I do think the Raiders’ run of success against their divisional foes continues. Las Vegas is far too efficient an offense that rarely turns the ball over or makes mistakes, and they’re going to dominate time of possession in this one. The Raiders are also capable of making some big plays along the way, especially if the Broncos are missing their top two cornerbacks this week. I’m rolling with the Raiders to cover ATS at home and for the total to hit over, as it has in 4 of Denver’s last 5 games and in 7 of Vegas’s last 8 games.
My prediction: Raiders win 28-24, Raiders cover, over 50.5 points
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Daily Fantasy Picks
Lock’s efficiency has been a real knock on his real-life play, but he’s coming off two back-to-back top-ten QB fantasy finishes. The Raiders have allowed 21.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, and this game has a high over-under total. Lock is a great value play in this game this week.
The Broncos’ rookie receiver is dealing with a shoulder injury that could keep him out this week, but if he does play I’m very interested in rolling him out against the Raiders who’s cornerbacks have repeatedly been torched this season. With 10+ targets in each of the past two weeks, Jeudy is becoming a more consistent part of this offense and is developing real chemistry with Lock. A Lock-Jeudy stack provides a ton of DFS value this week.
There’s probably 50 names I’d turn to before Nelson Agholor if you asked me who leads the NFL in yards per reception, but that’s exactly where Agholor sits at 20.4 YPR. He has 5 touchdowns on 17 catches, and while his target share hasn’t necessarily been consistent, his big-play upside and touchdown potential makes him a strong play against a beat-up Denver secondary.
The Broncos have allowed the 9th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and allowed Matt Ryan to finish with 22.4 fantasy points last week. Denver’s secondary could be without A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan this week, which would leave them with very little in the way of experienced coverage talent. Carr doesn’t scream fantasy upside, but he has 19+ fantasy points in four of eight games this year and should be a strong play at home in the Vegas dome against a struggling pass defense.