Broncos vs. Patriots NFL Spread Pick

Darin Zank

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 7:48 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 7:48 PM GMT

Earlier this week we took a look at Sunday night's Denver-New England game, and pondered why the line was what it was.

Today we offer up a pick on this game, for use at your own discretion.

Be sure to check out SBRs NFL Week 12 Betting Odds Report

The Updated Line

The line on this game is interesting. Some NFL betting outlets we consulted opened the NFL odds for Denver as a one-point favorite over New England; many opened Denver at -2.5; some opened Denver at -3. Usually when that happens the line tends to even-out at the majority of shops over the course of three or four days of betting action. But into Wednesday, for the most part, books had held their lines steady in the early betting.

As of Wednesday AM the Broncos could be gotten at -1 at some shops, while the Patriots could be gotten at +3 at others.

For those who think New England might win this game outright the best moneyline we could find was the +125 offered at Heritage Sports.

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The Set-Up

What's most important, as far as this game is concerned – outside of who will cover the spread, of course – is that Denver is 9-1 and owns the top seed in the AFC playoff picture, while New England is 7-3 and owns the three seed.

If the playoffs started today the Broncos would be sitting at home resting, while the Patriots would be hosting a wild-card game.

Who would you rather be?

Recent History

New England just beat Denver last season 31-21 at Foxboro, and that game wasn't as close as the score might indicate. The Patriots led 17-7 at the half and 31-7 late in the third quarter, before Manning drove the Broncos to a couple of meaningless scores.

New England ran 54 times for 251 yards that day, and held the ball for almost 36 minutes. That's how you beat Manning; you keep the ball away from him.

The stats say the Broncos rank fourth in the league against the run, allowing just 93 YPG. But we have to remember Denver has played with leads almost all season, so opponents have been throwing the ball in efforts to come from behind.

Our Take on Sunday's Game

This is a big one, and really provides the Patriots with a chance. Denver just won a big game at home, but now heads into another big game on the road. A victory would get New England to within a game of the Broncos, and if they could make up one more game they'd own the head-to-head tie-breaker.

The Patriots are a little banged up on defense, and that's a concern. But Coach Belichick has done a great job in the past of scheming against Manning; hopefully he's got something up his sleeve for Sunday night.

Denver may be the more talented team in this match-up, but emotion and motivation can be factors, too. The Broncos were up for a tough game at home Sunday night; it's difficult for any team to keep that level of intensity for even two games in a row.

New England is playing on the short week, after losing Monday night at Carolina, and we don't usually like playing teams on the short week. But if they can limit Manning's big plays, and grind out a few drives, which we believe is possible, the Patriots can bounce back and win this game. So we'll go with New England on the moneyline for our free NFL pick for Sunday night.

NFL Pick: Take the Patriots at the +125 on the moneyline at Heritage.

Check out SBRs Broncos vs. Patriots Opening Odds Report

We'll return to this game later this week and offer up a free pick on the total. 

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