New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
Date and Time: Sunday, November 12, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium
Opening NFL Odds: Patriots -7, O/U 46.5
Patriots vs. Broncos TV Coverage: NBC
The Patriots always march a top of the line offense to the field. Those that worried about the unit’s inefficiency early on can now take solace in the fact that Tom Brady and company come off the bye owners of the league’s No. 1 ranked total and No. 7 ranked scoring offense. It’s been bolstered by a passing attack that averages over 302 yards per game which bodes well since it will be running up against Denver’s “No Fly Zone” defense.
What was and still is bothersome however is the play on the other side of the ball. Defensively, New England ranks out with the No. 32 ranked total defense ( 417 YPG ) that’s had absolutely no clue how to defend opposing passing games ( No. 32 ). That said, Matt Patricia’s stop unit has only allowed an average of 22.4 points per game and is the owner of the league’s No. 2 ranked defensive yard per point average. Before going on bye, New England prevented each of its last four opponents to hit the 20-point plateau.
The Broncos have long been known for marching one of the best defense’s the game has to offer onto the field every passing week. While Denver’s stop unit still possesses a number of players from past year’s glory, the end results have been much different. Joe Woods’ troops rank top five in total, rushing and passing defense, yet have given up an average of 24.8 points per game ( No. 25 ).
How you ask? It’s quite simple, offensive turnovers. Only the Cleveland Browns have coughed up possession of the pigskin more than the Broncos. In total, the offense has fumbled the ball away seven times, while the quarterbacks have been tagged with 12 interceptions. Brock Osweiler came on to replace an ineffective Trevor Siemian last week, but the results were much of the same. He was picked off twice and only threw for just over 200 yards. Gross!
Matchup to Watch
Denver rates out above average on the ground in averaging just over 112 yards per game. Unfortunately, the offense has gotten very little traction from the running game over the last three weeks with it churning out an average of just 93.7 yards per game. Whether it be C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles or Devontae Booker, somebody has to step up and take advantage of the Patriots porous run defense if Denver is to not get embarrassed on its home field for a second straight time. New England concedes over 120 rushing yards per game and a league-worst 5.1 yard per carry average. If Osweiler’s arm is depended upon once again to lead Denver to a victory, it’s going to be ugly, again.
Patriots vs. Broncos Picks
Before going into Mile High Stadium in mid-December of last season, the Patriots dropped their previous three visits both straight up and against the spread by an average of 6.0 points per game. Two of the three meetings combined for low scorers as did last year’s which played to a 16-3 final. Now back at home for the first time since the middle of October, I firmly expect to see a different Broncos squad take to the field for this Sunday nighter. The betting public is hammering “The Hoodie’s” squad like they already know the end result of this matchup. Over 83 percent of the betting handle is riding the visitors at the top 10 online sportsbooks at the time of this writing. With teams getting less than 30 percent of the handle going 18-9-2 against the spread (67% ) this season, I’ll gladly take the points.
NFL ATS Pick: Broncos +7.5 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Patriots 23 – Broncos 21