New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
Sunday, 12/18/11, 4:15 PM EST, TV: CBS
Opening Point Spread: New England -4.5
Current Betting Line: New England -6.5
Opening Total: 46.5
Current Total: 46.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
New England is on a mission to capture its ninth AFC East division title in the last 11 years, but will need to move past its 2-15 record when playing in the Mile High City since 1969. The Patriots have won five consecutive games that includes three wins on the road against the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. Each of the last three games have gone ‘over’ the total and the team has been out-gained in each of those contests. New England is 7-5 ATS on the year and 5-2 ATS in the last four weeks of the regular season the past two-plus campaigns.
The Patriots will be led into battle by quarterback Tom Brady, who has tallied a dismal 1-6 record in his career against the Broncos. Last year’s NFL MVP managed to throw for 357 yards last week and comes in with 4,273 passing yards through 13 games of the season. New England’s biggest obstacle in reaching the Super Bowl is its defense, ranking 32nd in the league in allowing 416 yards per game.
Denver will go for its seventh consecutive win and is one of just three teams in NFL history to reel off six or more consecutive wins after starting a season 2-5 or worse. The Broncos have been the talk of the league since quarterback Tim Tebow took over, posting a 7-1 record as a starter this season, which has led directly to the team moving atop the AFC West standings. He has led 17 scoring drives in the fourth quarter and overtime in the last nine games. Denver is 3-3 ATS as a home underdog over the last two-plus seasons.
The Broncos own the league’s top rushing attack in averaging 156.2 yards per game, but are just 23rd overall in total offense due to an average passing attack at best. Denver’s defense hasn’t received near enough credit during its current winning streak, as the unit is tied for fourth in the NFL with 37 sacks on the season, totaling at least three in five consecutive games. Rookie linebacker Von Miller is the main force off the edge, compiling 11.5 sacks, which ranks third in league history for any player in his first 12 games.
Bettors will likely back the Patriots due to their 15-7 ATS mark as a road favorite of 3.5 to 10 points, while the Broncos are 1-4 ATS when hosting a team with a winning road record.
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