Like the favored Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos are finding that the public (or is it the wiseguys?) finds the NFL odds on them a bit too steep to stomach. As they marched off the field victorious over the gritty San Diego Chargers, the oddsmakers were already going to work and assigning them as 6 ½ point home chalk in NFL odds. That number has plummeted to 5 as of this writing and it may fall further.
The Broncos ended the first-half up 14-0 and it appeared they would be doing more of the same as oddsmakers made them 3 ½ point favorites in the second-half. But the Chargers were not to be deterred as they sliced and diced their way through the previously impenetrable Denver defense and outscored the Broncos 17-10 in the second frame. But that was not enough to overcome the 14 point hole however it does make one wonder if the Broncos are playing too cautiously when in command. We shall see soon enough how they deal with old friend Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
New England Patriots
The next man up Belichickian philosophy has served this edition of the New England Patriots well this season. Three of the integral pieces of their offense from last season, not to mention injuries to their offensive line, will not appear in this game or the Super Bowl if they manage to get that far. Aaron Hernandez is in jail, Wes Welker is a Bronco and All-World tight-end-of-the-ages Rob Gronkowski is nursing his latest injury. Coach Belichick’s undaunted reaction - What me, worry? Next man up!
But the latest injury is unusual even by New England’s Iliadic standards this season. Punter Ryan Allen may be out of the AFC Championship game due to a shoulder injury suffered in the third-quarter of Sunday’s victory over the Colts. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski did an admirable job punting in emergency relief but if Allen can’t go, who does? Check in tomorrow to our NFL Locker Room report as we monitor this situation closely and sniff for further happenings that could influence our NFL picks.[gameodds]16/255405/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]