Broncos Patriots Betting – Denver Fairytale Runs Out In New England
Denver posted a huge online betting upset at home over Pittsburgh, and they’ll get a chance to avenge a disappointing regular-season loss on Saturday night when they head to New England to face the Patriots, who had a bye week as the No.1 seed in the AFC. The Broncos will be brought back down to earth by the Patriots, who will flex their muscles on both sides of the ball.
What: NFL Betting
When: Saturday, January 14th, 8:00 PM ET
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
Pick: New England Patriots -13.5
Why Bet On Denver Broncos (9-8 SU, 8-8-1 ATS)
The Broncos were a mess heading into the playoffs, losing three straight, but they still won the AFC West because the rest of their division is terrible. Still, they were a 9-point underdog at home against Pittsburgh and no one was giving them much of a chance. But the Broncos followed Seattle’s lead from last season and pulled out a 29-23 overtime upset of the Steelers as Tim Tebow found Demaryius Thomas for an 80-yard touchdown under the new overtime rules. It was an all-around extraordinary game as Tebow torched the No.1-rated Pittsburgh pass defense for 316 yards and two touchdowns, completing 10 of his 21 attempts as he hit Thomas for a number of big plays. Thomas had just four catches, but he racked up 204 yards for the Broncos, who also ran for 131 yards as a team. The Denver defense had been struggling, but they sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times on the day and made sure he made him move on his injured ankle as much as possible. Even when the Steelers made a late run to send the game to overtime, the Broncos never panicked for an improbable result, one that sent the social media world into overdrive after the game.
Receiver Eric Decker (knee) is out for the rest of the playoffs, which means Eddie Royal steps up as the No.2 receiver for the Broncos, who were thumped 41-23 at home by the Patriots in Week 15. However, the Broncos are playing with NFL betting house money and no one believes in them, which can be dangerous. The defense has to play like they did against the Steelers or it won’t matter how many points Tebow and company can put up.
Why Bet On New England Patriots (13-3 SU, 9-6-1 ATS)
The Patriots won their final eight games of the regular season and scored at least 31 points in seven of those games (they notched 27 in the other game), and even their three losses came by a combined 15 points. Tom Brady finished third in the league in passer rating and second in yards, while the Patriots’ running-back-by-committee finished 20th in the league on the ground. The defense was much maligned as the Patriots couldn’t stop the pass, finishing 31st in that category, but they led the AFC in interceptions and total turnovers forced. It’s very similar to the New Orleans defense that held up its end of the bargain when the Saints won two seasons ago in that they’ll give up a ton of yards, but somehow get off the field with the stop or turnover that they need when the time comes. That is all you really need when Brady and the offense is on the field, as they can light up anyone and at home, where they won seven of their eight this season.
There are no major injuries for the Patriots, but there could be a situation brewing as offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien accepted the head-coaching job at Penn State, and the Patriots rehired Josh McDaniels to take over for him next season, but McDaniels will assist with duties for this game. The Patriots set all sorts of records when McDaniels was at the helm, and it’s hard to imagine him being very quiet this weekend. Remember, McDaniels was the head coach in Denver who pushed so hard for Tebow’s drafting, and he may have some pointers to give the Patriots on both sides of the ball as he knows the personnel very well. As for being a distraction, head coach Bill Belichick won’t let it be a distraction.
How It Will Play Out
The early NFL betting line for this game has the Patriots as a 13.5-point favorite at home, where they are 4-4 ATS, while the Broncos are 6-2 ATS on the road. New England was 2-2 ATS this season as a favorite of eight points or more, and all four games came at home, and with the week off, they had some time to rest some injuries. Brady and receiver Wes Welker had been a little banged up and the week off definitely helped.
In the first meeting, you could see that Brady took all of the talk surrounding Tebow personally and threw for 320 yards and two scores, along with a rushing touchdown after which he spiked the ball as hard as we’ve ever seen. Brady takes these challenges seriously (all the great players in sports look for motivation where they can) and he also inspired a solid effort from the defense, which sacked Tebow four times and forced three turnovers. Denver’s story is nice, similar to Seattle last year, but the Seahawks followed up their upset by getting walloped in Chicago. We expect Belichick and the defense to have some new wrinkles to confuse Tebow, and we expect the Patriots to cover the sports betting spread here.
Broncos Patriots Betting Pick: New England Patriots