Against the Spread Pick
After a the Antonio Brown AFC saga over the weekend we will see these two teams make their 2019 debuts against each other on Monday night. The Raiders, fresh off a Hard Knocks appearance, are looking to improve on the disaster that was Jon Gruden’s first year back at the helm. Denver is entering the season with a new head coach in Vic Fangio after firing Vance Joseph. The Broncos will go with Joe Flacco at quarterback here, an uninspiring option who is certainly among the worst starters in the league. The Raiders still have offensive weapons without Antonio Brown, they are a bit thin on depth though. Tyrell Williams, and promising rookie running back Josh Jacobs will have the Raiders move the football against Denver. Fangio is much too old-school for my liking, and he isn’t equipped to coach a modern NFL team. The Raiders should be extra juiced for this primetime home opener, and I think Flacco will struggle under the bright lights. Getting the Raiders at virtually even here is a steal.
Over Under Pick
The under also makes a lot of sense here. The Raiders’ defense got a lot better with the addition of first-round picks Clelin Ferrell and Johnathan Abram, and I don’t see any way the unit isn’t much improved from 2018. The Raiders are missing a significant portion of their offensive line with guards Richie Incognito and Gabe Jackson both sidelined here, so Von Miller and the rest of Denver’s pass-rush should feast. Flacco doesn’t have it anymore, and you can’t expect him to have much success on the road here with a subpar supporting cast on offense. This one has defensive struggle written all over it.