NFL Picks Week 13: Denver Broncos vs. Minnesota Vikings

Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, 12/4/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Minnesota -1
Current Betting Line:  Denver -1
Opening Total:  37.5
Current Total:  37
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Broncos vs. Texans NFL Game Preview
Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow has led the team to five wins in six games

Denver has won five of its last six games to stay within a game of the Oakland Raiders in the AFC West divisional standings, coming off a 16-13 win over the San Diego Chargers as 4.5-point road underdogs.  “This is a special team, a special team when you have a bunch of guys that when things aren’t going good we get closer instead of pulling apart,” stated Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.  He’s led the team to 11 scores in the final 15 minutes and is coming off a 143-yard passing performance against the Chargers.  Denver is 0-2 ATS versus NFC North opponents this year, while both games have gone ‘over’ the total.

The Broncos defense has been the forgotten story, allowing just 12 points per game over the last three contests, while the offense boasts the league’s top-ranked rushing attack in gaining 159.7 yards per game on the ground.  Since the Oct. 9th contest versus the Chargers, the offense has produced 1,410 rushing yards, which is the most in franchise history over a seven-game span.  Denver could be without outside linebacker Von Miller, who finally practiced Friday, but is dealing with a thumb injury.

Minnesota aims to snap a three-game losing streak and has some major injury issues to overcome, with the main one being running back Adrian Peterson being out with an ankle injury for the second straight week.  He was enjoying a fantastic start to the season, gaining 872 yards and still tied atop the leaderboard with 11 rushing touchdowns.  Backup Toby Gerhart will get the bulk of the carries and gained 44 yards and a touchdown last week versus the Atlanta Falcons.  Minnesota is 20-22 ATS and the ‘under’ is 23-22 in the last two-plus years.

The Vikings need to get off to a quick start to give the team confidence without its best player, getting outscored by a 58-7 margin in the first half the last three games.  Minnesota rookie quarterback Christian Ponder doesn’t have much in the way of receivers, as Percy Harvin is the only option that has caught the ball more than nine times this season.  On the defensive side of the ball, Jared Allen will need to get to Tebow on passing downs, failing to grab a sack the last two weeks after tallying one in 11 consecutive games.

Bettors will likely back the Vikings due to their 3-1-2 ATS mark following a spread loss, while the Broncos are 6-13 ATS in December.

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