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Why a square approach makes sense in picking Broncos-Raiders

The Raiders chaos makes them a tough team to back heading into 2019. Here’s a breakdown on some things to consider as you decide on a Week 1 Monday Night Football wager.

Head coach Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders looks down the field in the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during their NFL preseason game at CenturyLink Field on August 29, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The NFL presents a now annual Monday Night Football doubleheader to close out Week 1, and more often than not, the second game is a stinker of a matchup. The game does not kick off until 10:20 p.m. ET, and so the NFL naturally does not want to sacrifice viewership on a quality matchup.

This year follows suit with a matchup featuring the Oakland Raiders hosting the Denver Broncos. It’s exciting for Raiders and Broncos fans, but as the two teams likely to bring up the rear in the AFC West, the excitement will come for fantasy owners and sports bettors.

The Raiders opened as a field goal favorite, but bettors quickly jumped on the Broncos side. The line dropped to pick ‘em by the start of Week 1, and then things really went crazy. Antonio Brown decided he wanted out of Oakland, and over the course of 48 hours he went from angry to apologetic to angry to released. In that time, DraftKings Sportbook moved the line to Broncos -2.5. As of Monday morning, the line has settled at a field goal.

I personally wagered on the game prior to the madness, taking the Raiders on the moneyline. I thought they had made some important additions and Brown was going to be a key to getting Derek Carr back on track. Their defense has some problems, but I liked the matchup against Joe Flacco entering the twilight of his career.

Now, I see no way anybody can really bet with confidence on the Raiders. That’s not to say they won’t keep this close. I wouldn’t begrudge you taking the three points in a divisional home game, but the conservative play makes more sense. In reality you should probably stay away from this game, but a square approach is probably the best play.

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