The Oakland Raiders have something to play for in the 2019 regular-season finale. It’s an extreme long shot that the team will find its way into the final playoff picture, but Oakland is mathematically still in the postseason hunt in Week 17.

In addition to several outcomes going their way, the Raiders need to win Sunday afternoon in order to have any chance of earning the final AFC wild-card berth. Oakland is scheduled to visit the Denver Broncos in a rematch of Week 1.

Denver is favored in the upcoming AFC West matchup, despite having nothing on the line. The Raiders are 3.5-point underdogs, according to OddsShark. The total is 41.

It’s been a couple of weeks since the Broncos were eliminated from contention. Over the last month, Denver has looked better than the team that lost eight of its first 11 games.

Joe Flacco was under center when the Broncos lost 24-16 in Oakland in the season opener. The veteran went 2-6 as Denver’s starter with six touchdown passes, five interceptions and a mediocre 85.1 passer rating.

Drew Lock has been the starting quarterback in the Broncos’ last four games. Denver is 3-1 with the rookie under center, only losing on the road to the Kansas City Chiefs.

It’s difficult to predict which Raiders’ team will show up on a given week. After a 6-4 start that gave them the No.6 seed in the conference, Oakland went on a four-game losing streak, including three defeats by 21 points or more. The Raiders also lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have probably been the AFC’s worst team over the last two months.

With their playoff hopes on life support, Oakland defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 24-17 on the road in Week 16. Derek Carr had his best game in several weeks, going 26-30 for 291 yards and a touchdown against a good defense.

Derek Carr Oakland Raiders
Derek Carr #4 walks onto the field after Matt McCrane #3 of the Oakland Raiders kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime against the Cleveland Browns at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 30, 2018 in Oakland, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Broncos have an above-average defense by just about any measure. Denver ranks ninth in points allowed, 10th in yards allowed and 11th in opponents’ yards per play.

Oakland’s offense is ninth in yards per play, but the team is averaging just 15 points in the last six games. The Raiders haven’t scored more than 24 points in any of those contests.

Lock has put up decent numbers against some of the NFL’s worst defenses, completing nearly 80% of his passes with four touchdowns and one interception in wins over the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans. The rookie was held to a 50.8 passer rating when the Chiefs and their improving defense beat the Broncos 23-3.

The Raiders are 4-1 against the spread in their last five meetings with Denver. Oakland is 7-2 against teams that are not going to the playoffs.

Sunday’s contest should be a close, low-scoring affair. The team with the veteran quarterback and its eyes on a potential playoff spot has the best chance to come out on top.

Prediction: Oakland over Denver, 20-17