Denver at Buffalo
Time: NOON (CT), CBS
Spread: DEN -3.5
Odds c/o Bovada.lv
The Denver Broncos enter Week 3 with a 2-0 mark after defeating San Diego 24-21 Week 1 and pounding the Dallas Cowboys 42-17 in Week 2. Denver has given up just 19 points per game, and it will enter Buffalo as 3.5-point favorites at Noon (Central) on CBS. The game features an over/under of just 39 points.
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Last week Denver held Dallas to just 40 total rushing yards on the game. Dak Prescott had 24 on his three attempts, but the Broncos made star sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliot a non-factor, as the former Ohio State Buckeye had just eight yards on nine carries. Prescott threw 30 of 50 for completion, but he averaged just 4.8 yards per attempt in totaling only 238 yards and throwing as many interceptions (2) as touchdowns.
Denver’s C.J. Anderson, meanwhile, had a field day in the backfield with 118 yard and a TD on 25 carries, while former Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for 231 yards on 22 of 32 passing with four touchdowns and just one pick. Siemian looked like what Prescott is billed to begin this one, and Denver used two-touchdown second and third quarters to enter the fourth with a 25-point lead, which held.
In Week 1, Denver escaped on a late field goal block to defeat San Diego by three points. Siemian and Anderson were the stars of the season opener too, with Anderson rushing for 81 yards and Siemian throwing 17 of 28 for 219 yards with two TDs and one pick. Denver had six receivers with 20-yards or more, as it spread the wealth around. The defense held San Diego to just 258 total yards, including just 64 via the rush, as L.A. averaged only 2.9 yards per rush attempt. Similar will be hoped for this week against former All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy and dual-threat quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
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Buffalo won 21-12 over the New York Jets in Week 1, but Week 2 it had trouble generating much yardage against the Carolina Panthers. Taylor threw 68 percent for completion but managed just 125 passing yards and incurred three sacks. Taylor rushed eight times for 55 yards, but McCoy had only nine yards on 12 attempts, with a long-run of six-yards. The Carolina front five and DTs are some of the NFL’s best, but Denver is hoping to have similar success with a defense that has only allowed 23.1 percent of opponents’ third-down conversions. Denver has just three sacks on the season, but has already forced three interceptions.
Taylor is not an errant passer, but he also keeps his passers’ routes short. On the season he is good for just 6.6 yards per pass and 162.5 yards per game. The 7th-year quarterback from Virginia Tech threw for over 3,000 yards each of the past two seasons, but averaged just over one touchdown per game while rushing for 10 over the two seasons. He is quick and accurate, but just not the same long ball threat Siemian is. Expect Denver to prevail by a small edge, with the 3.5 point spread not offering abundant value to bettors.
Siemian is one of five QBs in Broncos history with at least two games that he threw four TDs and two or less INTs. Taylor leads all NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards, however. Denver’s offense is just much more volatile, and we like both the ‘over’ and Denver to prevail by at least a touchdown. Buffalo just did not inspire much confidence in last week’s offensive disaster against the Panthers, and the Broncos should be able to keep the ball in the air to amass decent yardage.