Finding The Edge: Broncos Come As The Sharp NFL Pick Against Patriots

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, January 22, 2016 8:41 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 8:41 PM GMT

The New England Patriots travel to the mile high altitude of Denver. It is the first of two games in the Conference Championship round. Let's review the NFL odds first.

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NFL Pick: Broncos +3
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos 3:00PM EST
That was a contest in which the Broncos were quarterbacked by second stringer Osweiler. As home team, they still got the victory 30-24. That was one of two home underdog roles for the Broncos this year; the other was a 29-10 outright victory vs Green Bay on November 1st. For the season, the Broncos are 7-2 SU on this field. Unlike the previous meeting, this will be the presumed LHG (last home game) for legendary QB Peyton Manning. With seven weeks of rest, Manning looked a bit more spry than in his previous mid-season outings before going to the bench with a variety of ailments, not the least of which was very painful torn plantar fasciitis. Not only will the Broncos have the advantage of the altitude, but they have not left Denver since December 20th, playing their final two regular season games at home before their playoff contest vs Pittsburgh last week. That 23-16 comeback victory, a point spread push at the price, came in large part because the only turnover of the game was a fumble by replacement RB Toussaint, which allowed Manning to lead the Broncos to a touchdown that was the difference in the final outcome. This victory came despite being outgained 396-324 for the game, including 311-215 through the airways. Each Manning and Roethlisberger threw 37 passes. Clearly Ben was more efficient. If the Broncos win this game, they will need to improve their pass defense, as they will now be facing one of the most successful post season QBs ever. 

New England QB Brady is 20-8 SU in playoff action, including 11-5 SU in games in which he has faced off against Peyton Manning. A closer inspection of the particulars reveals that Brady is just 2-5 SU in his career in Denver, including 0-2 SU if it is a playoff game. With an injured RB corps, Brady was at his typical best last week, completing 28 of 42 passes for 302 yards. New England rushed the ball only 14 times for 38 yards, being outgained overland by the Chiefs who rushed 32/135. It was part of a 378-340 yardage edge for the Chiefs in the game. The return to health of receiving triplets Edelman, Amendola, and TE Gronkowski leave Brady well-armed as he plies his wears against the #1 defense in the league. The Broncos allow just 83/33 overland, only 283 total yards, and just 4.6 YP play. If New England is to succeed, it will be once again because of the passing game of QB Brady. His short passing game and quick release will be necessary if he is to succeed against the Denver defensive front, who with 52 sacks this season was the best in the NFL. New England was just 5-3 SU on the road this year, just 1-5 ATS away of late, and is just 1-4 SU on the road in recent playoff action. With the ground game virtually eliminated, Brady will need to turn around his history at this venue if his Patriots are to succeed. The public overwhelmingly believes Brady will do this; this bureau is not convinced.

I invite you to put the NFL odds in your favor and join me in my NFL pick on the Denver Broncos.

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