After starting the season 0-3, the Denver Broncos have improved, winning three of their last five games. With whispers of a possible 16-team playoff, Sunday’s showdown with their division rival, the Las Vegas Raiders, could mark the final shot the Broncos have at turning their season around.
Broncos Hope to Unlock Lock Early Against Las Vegas
One of the big reasons the Broncos have struggled offensively in the first half is Drew Lock’s conservative approach. The quarterback seems to relax when the Broncos are down in the second half, and he can take chances. Lock loves slinging the ball downfield, something proven by his 65% completion rate in the second half in 2020.
Lock is responsible for six touchdowns in his last two fourth quarters, with five coming via the pass. So the question for Lock and Denver’s offensive coordinator Pat Shurmer is how they can replicate this urgency in the first half.
A hopeful sign for Lock is that the Raiders defense allows 15.9 points on average in the first half. They are ranked 27th overall in the NFL in first-half scoring defense. At home, the average is even worse at 18.3 points per contest, 30th overall.
So Lock will have his chance to rectify his first-half woes, leading the possibility for bettors to play several exciting point total bets on their favorite sportsbook apps on Sunday.
Broncos Over 23.5 Total Points at William Hill (+100)
Despite a negative point differential, the Raiders are second in the AFC West at 5-3. Las Vegas has played a challenging schedule to this point but remains resilient, pulling out several close contests.
While they are a 4.5-point favorite at most books, their defense has allowed the most points in the division. Only the Browns have allowed more points as a team with a winning record.
Lock will make his 12th career start as a Bronco. In 2019’s regular-season finale, he faced the Raiders and game-managed a 16-15 win with just 177 passing yards.
However, this matchup should be different than the one last December. Look for Lock to find more success in the first two quarters as the Raiders struggle at home to keep opponents out of the endzone.
The over 23.5 points wager at William Hill offers an even money return at +100. With both teams capable of putting up points, the Broncos could reach this total in the 3rd quarter.
You can find this bet under the Away tab with the Total Away Points heading on the site.
Las Vegas Raiders -3.5 and Over 52.5 Points (+305) at Sportsbetting.com
In seven of their last eight games, the Raiders have gone over the total points. Expect the Raiders to lean on quarterback David Carr’s arm early in the game, attacking the weak Broncos secondary.
Las Vegas does not light up the scoreboard in the first quarter, but they rank 8th in football in second-quarter scoring at 10.1 points per game. If the Broncos struggle offensively in the first half, Las Vegas could enjoy a double-digit lead before Lock attempts to mount a comeback.
This prop bet at Sportsbetting.com offers high-end value with a reduced spread, making it even more enticing. Sure, the game will need to go two points higher than the current point total, but if the Raiders score often and early, it is easy to see the final score hovering around 34-27 in favor of Las Vegas.
You can find this prop bet on Sportsbetting.com under the heading of Handicap -3.5 and U/O 52.5.
Over 2.5 TDs by Denver Broncos at DraftKings (-114)
In the last two weeks, the Broncos have found the endzone seven times. While most of those touchdowns came in garbage time, the Broncos offense has dazzled in comeback situations. With the Raiders favored by 4.5 points, it is reasonable to expect that Lock and Broncos will need to find the endzone often to stay in this game.
However, there is one concern with the Broncos offense and it revolves around the injured shoulder of wideout Jerry Jeudy. This year’s top pick for Denver has been targeted 24 times by Lock over the last two weeks.
If Jeudy plays, he should see another heavy workload from Lock’s arm. Jeudy’s game-changing speed will stretch the Raiders’ defense, leaving Lock free to pick apart the Raiders inside 15 yards from scrimmage.
This bet is a solid play with or without Jeudy in the lineup, but bettors would love to him on the field come Sunday.
You can find this bet under Team Props and the heading Total TDs on the DraftKings Sportsbook.