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Raiders at Broncos O/U and McGloin Passing Prop Bets

Oakland Raiders(12-3-0) @ Denver Broncos(8-7-0)

  • Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver, Colorado
  • When: January 1, 2017 4:25 pm EST
  • Spread: Raiders +1.5 (-110) vs. Broncos -1.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Raiders (+100) vs. Broncos (-120)
  • Over / Under: Over 40.5 points (-110) vs. Under 40.5 points (-110)

The crash course for Matt McGloin to go from backup quarterback to starting playoff signal-caller accelerates on New Year’s Day when the Oakland Raiders try to wrap up the AFC West title against the deposed Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.

All the good feelings from Oakland’s renaissance from also-rans to potential division champions disappeared in a flash as quarterback Derek Carr suffered a broken fibula in last weekend’s 33-25 victory over Indianapolis that ended his season. While the Raiders (12-3) can claim the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a victory and a loss by the New England Patriots at Miami, they can also finish second or fifth depending on this game.

Oakland would win the division with either a victory or a loss by Kansas City at San Diego and secure a first-round bye as no worse than the No. 2 seed. But a loss in this game and a victory by the Chiefs would relegate Jack Del Rio’s team to a wild card and the fifth seed, which results in a trip to Houston.

Denver (8-7), meanwhile, will not be defending its Super Bowl 50 title as an unsteady offense contributed to a current three-game losing streak that scuttled the team’s playoff chances. Denver allowed scoring plays of 70 and 80 yards in falling behind 21-7 in the first quarter of an eventual 33-10 defeat to KC.

With Trevor Siemian faltering down the stretch and the Broncos not having anything at stake, coach Gary Kubiak likely will give first-round pick Paxton Lynch some snaps under center in looking ahead to 2017. The 26th overall pick has already started twice this season when Siemian was injured and has completed 49 of 83 passes for 497 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in three games.

The under, the under, the UNDER!

OAK vs. DEN PredictionsGiven the lack of experience and consistency under center for both teams, more so the Raiders with McGloin making his first NFL start since his rookie season in 2013, this game has the feel of last year’s contest in Denver, won 15-12 by Oakland in which Carr rallied the Raiders with two second-half TD passes after the Broncos booted four field goals in the first two quarters because Brock Osweiler was ineffective in the red zone. I highly recommend taking the UNDER of 40.5 points established by the Bovada Sportsbook.

Denver has scored just 23 points in its last three games, and the lack of a running game plagued the Broncos as they committed eight turnovers in those defeats. They averaged just 6.04 yards per pass attempt in those games as well, and Siemian had a 71.1 passer rating in those games.

Even with the Broncos placing defensive end Demarcus Ware on injured reserve with a back injury, they still have plenty of talent on defense to keep McGloin under wraps. Denver leads the league in pass defense, allowing an average of 187.2 yards, has yielded a NFL-low 31 passes of 20 or more yards and is tied for ninth with 24 turnovers.

Can McGloin be effective in his first start since 2013?

A great prop bet is the UNDER of 235.5 passing yards for McGloin (-140 Odds at Bovada) in this game. In five appearances over the last three years, he has completed 37 of 55 passes for 300 yards with three TDs and three INTs. While McGloin did top 236 passing yards in four of his six starts in 2013, there’s no track record to project that kind of success against a quality Broncos defense.

Chris AltrudaThis article was written by Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has spent more than two decades as a sportswriter, first for ESPN SportsTicker in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he rose to the level of college sports coordinator and was NCAA Men's Basketball Columnist. From there, he moved onto The Associated Press, where Chris started as an editorial assistant in their MegaSports division in the AP's headquarters in New York City before taking on the role of Scores Manager. He most recently served as an editor for nearly 11 years for STATS' editorial department based in Northbrook, Illinois, writing game previews for all US professional and major college sports as well as the English Premier League and international soccer. Currently a freelancer, Chris is still working the international soccer beat and other assorted projects. A native New Yorker and graduate of Marquette University who still refers to them as the Warriors, Chris is now holding out hope the Jets will reach a Super Bowl in his lifetime since the Cubs proved miracles are possible by winning the 2016 World Series. Chris can be found on Twitter at @AlTruda73

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