Let’s see: USC had scored less than 60 points in 13 of its last 14 road games (never once topping 62 points), while New Mexico had allowed more than 60 points just twice in six home games this year. So what happened last night at The Pit? The Trojans put up 67 points, the final two coming with 13 seconds remaining to turn a 75-65 loss into a 75-67 loss. The point spread? New Mexico minus-9. Yesterday’s best bet? New Mexico minus-9. Nice to see these brutal college basketball beats are starting long before March this season.
So how best to snap a four-play losing skid? Bet on the shitty Raiders. Actually, calling the Raiders shitty is an insult to all things shitty. Oakland is 3-9 overall and 3-9 against the number; it has dropped five in a row straight up and against the spread; and four of those five losses were double-digit routs in which the Raiders allowed at least 34 points (the lone exception being Sunday’s 20-17 home loss to the Browns, when Oakland scored a meaningless TD with one second remaining).
Trending in the complete opposite direction are the Broncos, who have won seven straight games, scoring 30 points or more six times. Going back to the final day of September, Denver is 8-1, including a 37-6 spanking of the Raiders. So, really, it’s impossible to justify backing Oakland tonight. All I can say is the law of averages generally come into play in the NFL (the Raiders are overdue for a solid effort, while the Broncos are overdue for a clunker—and why not on the road in a divisional game coming off a short preparation week?)
Also, the Broncos may have easily covered in the first four games of their four-game winning streak—when they ranged from a one-point underdog to a six-point favorite—but they’ve failed to bring home the cash the last three weeks, including sleepwalking through a 17-9 victory at Kansas City two weeks ago as a 10-point road favorite the same number they’re laying tonight).
Two more things to say in support of the Raiders: Prior to losing the last two meetings with Denver, they had won and covered four in a row (including three outright upsets). And in 13 of these weeknight NFL games this year, the road team has won by double digits just four times.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆
Wednesday’s Result: New Mexico -9 vs. USC (loss)