Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos meet Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in an AFC Divisional Playoff matchup. See where we are placing our NFL picks on this game's spread. Will Tebow pull it off again?
Let this thought sink in for a moment.
The Denver Broncos started the season 1-4 and were in last place in the Western
Division. Now they’re just one victory away from a trip to the AFC championship
game. Just the mere possibility of reaching the title game has the city of
Denver in a tizzy and Tim Tebow mania at an all-time high.
Saturday night, the Broncos will try to
take the most improbable step yet in their ‘Excellent Adventure’ when they
matchup against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
NFL odds makers opened with Denver as a 14 point underdog, but early NFL betting action has pushed the number to -13.5 at most sportsbooks. The
total opened at 51.5 but has been heading south and is at 50.5.
How they got here
Last week, Tim Tebow and Broncos did the
unthinkable beating the defending conference champion Pittsburgh Steelers at
home 29-23 in overtime. Team president and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway,
told Tebow to "pull the trigger" and he did just that, throwing for
316 yards and two touchdowns.
It was his 80 yard TD strike to
Demaryius Thomas on the first play from scrimmage in OT that fans will
remember the most. It set an NFL record for the quickest OT period in playoff
history (11 seconds) and joined Elway’s “The Drive” among the greatest moments
in Broncos history.
The Patriots enjoyed a bye week after
wrapping up the top-seed in the playoffs. In their final regular season game,
they rolled to a 49-21 victory over the Bills easily covering the -10 point
spread with the combined 70 points giving ‘over’ bettors an easy victory. Tom
Brady fired 3 TD passes giving him 39 on the year and his 338 yards put him at
5239 for the season.
In their regular season matchup in Week
15 in Denver, the Patriots spotted the Broncos a 16-0 first quarter lead before
roaring back for a 41-23 victory and cover. Tebow was solid but not spectacular,
throwing for 194 yards and running for another 93 yards and two touchdowns, but
he also fumbled, one of three turnovers on the day. Brady didn’t need the extra
help but he gladly took it, guiding New England to 20 second quarter points.
What’s changed since their first meeting
on December 18? The point spread is the most notable thing. In the Week 15 matchup the
Patriots were favored by -7 with the total at 47.5. This time around New
England is nearly a two touchdown favorite. The other thing is the Tebow
factor. Just when fans (and his own coaching staff) were ready to write him off,
he delivered a clutch performance that should guarantee his job security
Offensively, the game matches up New
England's No. 3-ranked offense (32.1 points per game) against a Denver defense
that ranks 24th allowing 24.4 ppg. The Patriots passing attack has
averaged 317.8 yards per game while the Broncos defense is surrendering 231.5
yards per game through the friendly skies.
Denver should be able to put up some
points against New England’s 31st ranked defense which is averaging 411.1
yards per game including 293.9 yards passing. I can hear Elway now saying to “pull the
This is my favorite sports betting trend, as Denver is 5-1
ATS in its last six visits to Foxborough while New England despite its well
documented home dominance in the postseason is just 1-4 ATS in its past 5
playoff home games.
The Broncos are 9-4 ATS in their last 13
games but 1-6 as a double digit dog. The Patriots have failed to cover in their
last six playoff games.
For players who are inclined to bet the
total, consider these trends.
New England closed the season with six
straight overs, but Bill Belichick is 10-1 to the ‘under’ at home following a
Harvey’s Take: Since Tebow has taken over at QB, I’ve
ridden the Broncos all the way and I’m a richer man for it. Just like last week
there aren’t many people giving Denver much of a chance. Even if they don’t win
I’m confident John Elway’s team will cover.