Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills
Sunday, 12/24/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV: CBS
Opening Point Spread: Denver -3
Current Betting Line: Denver -3
Opening Total: 42.5
Current Total: 43
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Denver can take another step toward clinching an AFC playoff berth when traveling to take on the Buffalo Bills inside Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY. The Broncos are coming off a 41-23 loss to the New England Patriots as seven-point home underdogs, but still control their fate in the AFC West division. “We need to concentrate on getting better,” stated Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey. It’s important to note that quarterback Tim Tebow is 5-0 as a starter on the road this season. Denver is 2-1 ATS as a road favorite of three points or less the last two-plus years.
The Broncos will want to put the ball on the ground and utilize their punishing running attack that’s averaging 161.3 yards per game. Denver’s offense ranks 19th in the league in gaining 322.5 yards per game, while sitting 21st in scoring 20.9 points a contest. Running back Willis McGahee is listed as probable and sits just 10 yards away from his fourth 1,000-yard season. He will be running against a defensive unit that sits 29th in the league in playing the run.
Buffalo doesn’t have much to play for in dropping seven consecutive games and posting a 1-6 ATS record over that span. The Bills haven’t been able to recover from losing star running back Fred Jackson, while starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown an NFL-high 19 interceptions this year. “You lose this many games in a row, we all get criticism,” commented Bills head coach Chan Gailey. Buffalo has covered four of the last five meetings in this series, picking up a 30-23 win as six-point road underdogs on Dec. 21, 2008. Buffalo is 2-3 ATS as a home underdog of three points or less the last two-plus years.
The Bills made some key moves to try and improve their defense during the offseason, but the unit has actually slipped from 24th to 26th in total defense from last year to this year. Buffalo was primed to make a playoff run early in the year, but will fail to reach the postseason for a 12th consecutive season. The key to Saturday’s game is making Tebow throw the football, as he’s completed just 48.6 percent of his passes. On the offensive end, running back C.J. Spiller will look to prove productive for a second straight week, finishing with 167 yards from scrimmage in Week 15 versus the Miami Dolphins .
Bettors will likely back the Bills due to the underdog being 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, while the Broncos are 7-15 ATS in December.
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