Week 15 NFL Lines: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders are an unbeaten 4-0 against AFC West foes this season. This mark includes a 59-14 rout at Denver on Oct. 24. NFL oddsmakers expect Oakland to remain perfect in divisional play when they host the Broncos Sunday. They have listed the Raiders as a 6.5-point favorite with the total set at 43.

If history is any indicator, this game will not be a gimme for Oakland.  The Raiders have been outscored 64-17 in consecutive home losses to the Broncos. They have also not swept the season series since 2002, which happens to be the last time they tallied at least six wins in a season. That year the Raiders won the division and reached the Super Bowl.  They are hoping to sneak into the playoffs in their best season since.

However, the Raiders have their work cut out after dropping three of four to fall behind San Diego and Kansas City. How crazy would it be if Oakland swept its divisional games and still missed the playoffs? Well, I’ll tell you how crazy. Since the 1970 merger, no team has won all of its divisional games and not won its division.

The Raiders weren’t able to help their cause last week when they suffered a 38-31 loss at AFC South leaders, Jacksonville. The Raiders weren’t able to hold on to a 10-point third-quarter advantage.

The big play hurt Oakland last week, and that has been a recurring theme throughout the season. The Raiders have given up 61 plays of 20 or more yards (29th in the NFL).

Despite the loss, I won’t fail to toot Jason Campbell’s horn. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 324 yards with two touchdown strikes and no interceptions. Running back Darren McFadden continued his great all-around play, recording 209 yards of total offense and three scores.

McFadden was Denver’s worst nightmare when the Raiders scored a franchise-best 59 points in the season’s first meeting. He had 196 ya...

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