Carrie Stroup here with your Broncos vs. Patriots betting odds. Be sure to claim your FREE $100 BET when you open an online wagering account here.
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Denver -2.5 & 54.5
Opening Line & Total: Broncos -3 & 56
The Patriots try to shake off their controversial Monday night loss when they host the 9-1 Broncos on Sunday night.
New England lost to Carolina 24-20 on Monday, but on the game’s final play, TE Rob Gronkowski was clearly held in the end zone but the referees deemed the ball uncatchable. Denver, on the other hand, took down the undefeated Chiefs 27-17 to win their third straight game (SU and ATS). This game features a pair of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks with Tom Brady going 9-4 in his career when facing a Peyton Manning-led team. These two franchises last met in October of last year, when Brady threw for 223 yards and scored two touchdowns (1 passing, 1 rushing) in leading his team to a 31-7 cushion late in the third quarter before Manning threw two of his three touchdowns to make the final score 31-21. This marked the Patriots' third straight double-digit home win over the Broncos. But since 1992, Denver holds the 10-7 advantage (SU and ATS) in this series. In the same span, New England is 20-8 ATS (71%) as a home underdog. The Patriots are also 6-0 ATS against AFC West division opponents over the past three seasons. However, in the past two years, Denver is 16-5 ATS (76%) as a favorite and 9-1 ATS in the second half of the season. The Broncos have two key injuries on offense with WR Wes Welker (concussion) and TE Julius Thomas (knee), but both are expected to play on Sunday night. But S Rahim Moore (leg) is out indefinitely and top CB Champ Bailey (foot) is questionable. New England has even more major concerns in the secondary though, with CB Aqib Talib (hip) questionable and both CB Alfonzo Dennard (knee) and S Steve Gregory (thumb) out.
Denver came away with a big victory over the Chiefs last game despite tallying its lowest point total of the year (27 points). But the Broncos have now won three straight despite QB Peyton Manning (ankles) not being 100 percent healthy. Manning threw for 323 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions against a strong K.C. defense, and continues to the lead the NFL in both passing yards (3,572) and passing touchdowns (34) while ranking second to Nick Foles in passer rating (118.3). He's thrown just six picks all year. Including playoffs, Manning is just 5-9 in his career versus New England, but has still put up strong numbers with 291 passing YPG, 29 TD and 19 INT in these 14 meetings. With two of his top receivers, WR Wes Welker (concussion) and TE Julius Thomas (knee) slowed by injuries, he will lean heavily on WR Demaryius Thomas, who has 304 receiving yards and 4 TD over the past three games to give him 914 yards and nine scores on the year. With the Patriots secondary banged-up, Thomas should have another huge game like he has in the previous two meetings in this series, racking up 296 receiving yards on 16 catches. The Broncos passing game is outstanding, but they rank 28th in the NFL in rushing yards per carry (3.6). However, rookie RB Montee Ball rushed for two touchdowns last week, and top RB Knowshon Moreno has eight rushing touchdowns this year, which is a big reason with Denver leads the NFL in red zone efficiency (79%). The Broncos boast a run defense that has allowed just 92.7 yards per game (4th in NFL) and 3.7 yards per carry (5th in league) this season. They do, however, struggle against the pass, surrendering 279.1 yards per game (28th in NFL). Especially if CB Champ Bailey (foot) can't play, Denver will have its work cut out for them going against Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.
The Patriots have gotten their passing game going over the past two games with QB Tom Brady throwing for 728 yards and five touchdowns in those weeks. In the past two home meetings with Denver, Brady has completed 75.4% of his passes for 586 yards, 7 TD and only 1 INT. A big part of the Patriots sudden passing success is the return of TE Rob Gronkowski. Since returning from back and forearm injuries, Gronkowski has 343 receiving yards in four games and a touchdown in each of the past two weeks. The healthy return of RB Shane Vereen (wrist) last week was also a boost to the passing game, as Vereen led the Patriots in targets (11), catches (8) and receiving yards (65) in the loss to Carolina. RB Stevan Ridley has also gotten himself going for New England as of late. Despite a costly lost fumble against the Panthers last week, Ridley has rushed for 414 yards and seven touchdowns over the past five games. The Patriots defense has been decimated by injuries all season, and could really miss top CB Aqib Talib (hip) in this one. New England allows just 229.2 passing YPG (12th in NFL), and they will need to continue to defend the pass well facing Peyton Manning’s offense. The Patriots have really struggled against the run (125.7 rushing YPG allowed, 27th in NFL), but a solid red zone efficiency (52%, 11th in NFL) has led to just 19.9 PPG allowed (7th in NFL). Turnovers have also saved this defense, as they have tallied 19 takeaways this season.
- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter