Denver is 2-0, but they still need to convince some after the defense saved them against Baltimore, then Kansas City handed them a game on the road in Week 2. Detroit is 0-2 after tough road losses at San Diego and Minnesota, which means this is a huge game for them; only five teams in history have made the playoffs after starting 0-3.
Opening Odds & Line Movement
Open: -3.5 +111 at Pinnacle
The Broncos opened up as 3.5-point favorites according to the NFL odds and they're now favored by a field goal. You would have to think that the Broncos get the edge due to Manning, even if he is older and can't throw the ball like he used to. Detroit's Matthew Stafford has a much stronger arm that Manning, but no one would take Stafford over Manning, right now. Also, the Denver defense is second in the league, while Detroit is 30th.
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Manning has a back problem that has had him on the injury reports lately, but the Broncos have had 10 days off and he'll be on the field. CB Aqib Talib left Thursday's practice with an illness, but other than that, the Broncos are pretty healthy and it certainly had to help that they haven't played since last Thursday.
Stafford is listed as probable with an arm injury, but he has practiced all this week and should play, even though the Lions might have him on a short leash. Stafford has struggled this season, partly because of an offensive line that has let him get pounded, and if he starts off slow, the Lions could decide to switch to Dan Orlovsky. TE Brandon Pettgrew didn't practice with his hamstring, and neither did LB DeAndre Levy, who continues to be bothered by a bad hip. Levy is the Lions' defensive leader and while he wouldn't solve all of their problems, Detroit would be better with him in the lineup.
The Broncos have covered the spread in four of their last six games, and they have the same record in their last six on the road. The Lions have covered just one of their last six spreads overall, but at home, the Lions have been pretty solid, going 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS in their last five games.
The Lions are 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with the Broncos, the last of which came in 2011, while both teams are 2-2 SU and ATS in four meetings in the Motor City.
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