NFL Sunday Night Football Picks: Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos
Sunday, November 1, 2015, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver, Colorado
Opening Line: Green Bay pick
Current Line: Green Bay -2 1/2
Opening Total: 43
Current Total: 46 1/2
Opening Money Line: Packers -115 / Broncos -105
Current Money Line: Packers -140 / Broncos +120

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The Packers and Broncos meet Sunday in Denver in battle of unbeaten teams.

The Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers are both 6-0 this season as they meet Sunday night in Denver. The two teams are among a record five undefeated teams entering week eight, along with the New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers. Green Bay leads the NFC North over the 4-2 Minnesota Vikings. Denver leads the AFC West over the 3-3 Oakland Raiders.

The series is tied 6-6-1 between the Packers and Broncos. Green Bay has won 3 straight games in the series including 49-23 at Lambeau in 2011 in the last meeting. The most famous game between the Packers and Broncos came in Super Bowl XXXII in 1998 in San Diego. John Elway won his first Super Bowl title as his Broncos upset Brett Favre and the Packers 31-24.

Green Bay is coached by Mike McCarthy. The Packers have home wins over the Seattle Seahawks 27-17, Kansas City Chiefs 38-28, St. Louis Rams 24-10 and two weeks ago against the San Diego Chargers 27-20, along with road wins at the Chicago Bears 31-23 and San Francisco 49ers 17-3. Green Bay was off last week.

The Packers were 10.5 point favorites against the Chargers and the total was 50. Green Bay led by as may as 14 in the first half but would take a 17-10 lead into halftime. The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter and field goals in the fourth quarter. Green Bay kicked a field goal with 2:37 left to make it 27-20. San Diego took over at their own 20 after a touchback on the Packers’ kickoff. The Chargers drove down to the Packers three but could not score the tying touchdown. Despite quarterback Phillip Rivers throwing for over 500 yards with 2 touchdowns, San Diego wasn’t able to pull off the upset. Green Bay is 5-1 ATS and the total is 2-4 this season.

Denver is coached by Gary Kubiak. The Broncos have home wins over the Baltimore Ravens 19-13 and Minnesota Vikings 23-20, along with road wins over the Chiefs 31-24, Detroit Lions 24-12, Raiders 16-10, and two weeks ago at the Cleveland Browns 26-23 in overtime. Denver was also off last week.

The Broncos were 3.5 point favorites against the Browns and the total was 41.5. Denver took a 10-0 lead into halftime including a  63 yard pick six. Denver would lead 13-7 going into the fourth quarter. The under looked pretty safe but the teams combined for 27 points in the fourth. Cleveland scored 17 points including a pick six of their own. The Browns tied the game with a field goal with 1:30 left. Denver would actually get two possessions in the last 1:30 of the fourth after a Browns’ interception, but both ended in punts. The Broncos would win the game with just under five minutes left in overtime on a field goal.  Each team had 3 turnovers. Denver is 4-2 ATS and the total is 2-4 this season.

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Green Bay is outscoring teams 27-17 this season. The Packers are #5 in scoring and #1 in points allowed. Green Bay is averaging 364 yards per game on offense including 237 passing and 127 rushing yards. The Packers are #8 in rushing and #10 in total offense. On defense, the Packers are allowing 355 yards per game including 237 passing and 119 rushing yards. The Packers are 29/74 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 40/95. Green Bay has forced 23 sacks and has allowed 11 this season. The Packers are +6 in turnovers with a defensive touchdown.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has completed 68.1% of his passes for 1,491 yards along with 15 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 27 carries for 146 yards.

Running back Eddie Lacy has 67 carries for 260 yards and a touchdown, plus 9 catches for 83 yards. James Starks has 63 carries for 286 yards and a touchdown along with 11 catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a hip injury.

Receiver Randall Cobb has 30 catches for 350 yards and 4 touchdowns. James Jones has 30 catches for 424 yards and 6 touchdowns. Davante Adams has 9 catches for 92 yards. He is probable with an ankle injury. Tight end Richard Rodgers  has 21 catches for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ty Montgomery has 15 catches for 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable with an ankle injury. Receiver Jordy Nelson is out for the season with a torn ACL suffered during the pre-season. Seven defensive players are listed on the injury report.

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Denver is outscoring teams 23-17 this season. The Broncos are #2 in points allowed. Denver averages 326 yards per game on offense, including 249 passing and 85 rushing yards. The Broncos are #29 in total offense and #31 in rushing. On defense, Denver is allowing 281 total yards including 192 passing and 89 rushing yards. Denver leads the league in total and pass defense and is #4 in rush defense. The Broncos are 29/90 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 29/86. Denver has forced 13 sacks but allowed 12 sacks this season. Denver is +6 in turnovers. The Broncos have four defensive touchdowns and have allowed three.

Peyton Manning has completed 61.6% of his passes for 1,524 yards with 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has been sacked 12 times. Manning has struggled at times due to age and Kubiak’s new offensive system. Because of numerous neck surgeries, Manning simply doesn’t have the arm strength he used to.

Running back Ronnie Hillman has 66 carries for 323 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 6 catches. C.J. Anderson has 67 carries for 180 yards, along with 13 catches for 100 yards. Running back Juwan Thompson is questionable with a hamstring injury.

Receiver DeMaryius Thomas has 48 catches for 527 yards and a touchdown. Emmanuel  Sanders has 38 catches for 527 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Tight end Owen Daniels has 14 catches for 85 yards and 2 touchdowns. Bennie Fowler and Jordan Norwood will also get some targets. Norwood is questionable with a hamstring injury. Linebacker DeMarcus Ware is probable with a back injury.

Green Bay is 4-0 ATS in road games, 6-1 after a straight up win, and overall, 5-1-1 after gaining 350 total yards or more, 10-2 after a bye week, 23-9-1 after an ATS win and against teams with winning records, 35-15-2 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, 42-18-1 on grass, 36-17-1 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, 42-18-1 on grass, 36-17-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, and 3-7 in November.

Denver is 5-0 ATS after a straight up win, 4-1 after gaining 350 total yards or more, 14-6 after a bye week, 23-11-1 on grass, and 1-5 after passing for 350 yards or more. The home team has covered five of the last six games in this series.

Both Rodgers and Manning have multiple MVP trophies. Both have struggled this season. This should be a very low scoring game. I think the Packers win on the road but it will be close and hard fought.

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