2011 Season NFL Football Past Picks
September 12, 2011
Las Vegas at Denver
Monday 09/12 10:15 PM Eastern
2 units on Denver PICK () (risk 2 to return 2) RESULT: LOSS
Al Davis has struck again. The Raiders were finally showing signs of turning the corner last season. They actually looked like a good team last year! But Davis just couldn't wait any longer, and out the door goes Tom Cable. In is offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. So, a lot of the progress from last season is gone. The defense loses what was arguably the team's best overall player in CB Nimamdi Asomugha. So, while their should be a lot of hope in Oakland entering the 2011 season, there are more question marks than optimism. Denver made a necessary change by bringing in John Fox to run the team. Fox will have an immediate impact on the Denver defense, which was simply bad last year - dead last in the NFL last season (391 yards and 29.4 points per game allowed). His 4-3 scheme and the return of Elivs Dumervil (17 sacks in 2009) should really help. Von Miller should pay immediate dividends at LB to further improve the defense. Kyle Orton is a good quarterback and remains one of the most underrated signal callers in the NFL. He has averaged 3,700 yards and a 2-to-1 TD to INT ratio in Denver. If the Broncos defense improves as expected and this offense produces like it did last season (ranked 13th), the Broncos should really improve in 2011. Oakland is historically awful in expected close games where they are a dismal 29-61 ATS when they take the field between a 3 point favorite, or 3 point dog. Narrowing that down, the Raiders are 4-21-2 ATS in their last 27 as a dog of 3 or less. Their Monday Night resume, which used to be the best back in their glory years, has decayed tremendously. The Raiders are just 1-7 ATS in their last eight under the Monday Night lights. Want further proof that this game should go to Denver? Revenge is a dish best served cold. Last season Oakland came into Denver and handed the Broncos a 59-14 shellacking. It was Oakland's best offensive performance ever. In the other game between these teams last season, Oakland put up 39 points and won by double digits again. You can be sure this is a massively important game to Broncos players. They are human and they want nothing more than to erase the memory of those games. My computer matchup for this game has Oakland winning outright. I disagree. I don't often play favorites, but I like Denver to win and cover tonight.