Patriots To Keep Rolling Past Struggling Broncos

Lewis will be key for the Pats

Two old rivals will lock horns when the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots face off at Sports Authority Field on Sunday.

The Broncos are in dire need of a response to stop their slide. Vance Joseph’s men have lost their last four matches on the bounce. The club have fallen from 3-1 to 3-5 in their campaign and are now in a desperate fight to remain in contention for the playoffs.

Denver were hammered last time out by the Philadelphia Eagles as Carson Wentz tore through their secondary. Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement had a great deal of success on the ground, helping their offense put 51 points on the vaunted Broncos’ defense.

Brock Osweiler struggled to muster the offense in his first game back as a starter. He threw two interceptions against the Eagles, throwing for just 208 yards in the process. The 27-year-old has defeated the Patriots in the past and will need a special effort once again.

New England have bolstered their offense with the signing of Martellus Bennett. The tight end was released by the Green Bay Packers in a disagreement over an injury. Bennett returns to team, where he played a significant role in their Super Bowl triumph last season.

The Patriots are fresh off their bye, but to have injury concerns on their defense. That could play into the Broncos’ hands, while their record in Denver is not the best, despite their win last season. It will be a test of their mettle to maintain their four-game winning streak.

We’ll now break down both sides and look at the latest betting odds for the contest.

Denver Broncos

Miller will have to be at his best

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos were simply thrashed in their last outing by the Eagles. They couldn’t stop the run or the pass as Doug Pederson’s men ran rampant over their defense. The manner of the loss was shocking as Denver’s defense has been the best unit in the NFL since the 2015 campaign.

However, the club’s problems on offense have carried over to the other side of the field. The pressure has been unrelenting on the unit for the past three seasons. It displayed signs of telling last term, but Von Miller, Brandon Marshall and Aqib Talib managed to hold them together.

Not even their elite players could stand up to the speed and the power of the Eagles’ attack. Worryingly for the Broncos they showed signs of giving up in the fourth quarter, allowing 51 points, which was their worst defensive display since the 2010 campaign.

They have to bounce back against the Patriots, with Miller spearheading the charge. In Denver’s victory over New England in the 2015 AFC Championship game, Miller was simply unstoppable with 2.5 sacks and also notched an interception of Brady.

He has to have a performance of that quality to get his team back on track to stop the five-time Super Bowl winner from inflicting further woe on the club. Denver’s run defense has been stout this season, but was undone by the Eagles. If they allow New England to run the ball successfully then their task is almost impossible.

Osweiler will get his second start of the season in relief of Trevor Siemian. He made a couple of solid throws to lead a comeback win over the Patriots in the 2015 regular season. The quarterback cannot make mistakes on Sunday – a clean game could be enough for a vital victory.

New England Patriots

Lewis will be key for the Pats

The Patriots watched from the comfort of their bye week as the Kansas City Chiefs slipped up again, allowing them to slip into the second seed in the AFC. Bill Belichick’s men have not been outstanding this season, but have still managed to claw their way to a 6-2 record.

Brady had a fast start to the term, but has cooled in recent weeks due to his side’s issues in the redzone. The Patriots have been limited to field goals more than they would expect, which almost left them exposed against the Los Angeles Chargers last time out.

The club were handed a boost with the signing of Bennett. He was a key cog in their run to the Super Bowl last season with Gronkowski sidelined. The duo did not spend a lot of time together on the field, although when they did combine it was to devastating effect.

That could ease the pressure inside the 20-yard line and allow Brady’s offense to get back to their prolific best. Dion Lewis, James White, Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead are rounding into form and will be key players against Denver to stymie the pass-rush.

Injuries have taken a hold of New England’s defense, but cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe should return to bolster the ranks. Shea McClellin and Dont’a Hightower’s injuries have left the front seven depleted, while Malcom Brown will miss his second game with ankle injury.

In the Patriots’ loss to Denver in the 2015 regular season, injuries played a role. Limiting CJ Anderson in the running game is their key to victory. They cannot afford to let him run for 87 yards in one play as they allowed Melvin Gordon in their win over the Chargers. Holding Anderson and company in check is a necessity.

Betting Options

The Broncos have been putrid of late, losing their last four matches on the bounce. New England are the opposite having rounded into form, winning four successive matches. The Patriots controlled the game in their last visit to Denver in November 2016 and will aim to do the same this time around.

Their defense has had issues this season, but with Gilmore and Rowe back in the side they should be able to stop Osweiler. They tormented the quarterback in the 2016 playoffs when Osweiler was with the Houston Texans. Expect a similar game plan, which could be aided further as Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are not 100% heading into the contest.

Brady did not do a great deal last time out against the Broncos, allowing his running backs to inflict the damage. The Patriots have their mismatches in their favour and should be able to close out a comfortable win. Back them at odds of -313   with BetOnline, although the spread of +6.5 should be considered for the Broncos at odds of +104   with 888Sport.

New England have not broken the 30-point since the beginning of October. Take them to extend that run to be held to under 26 points at odds of -110   with Betway. Danny Amendola has been quiet in recent weeks, take him for a his second score of the term anytime with Bet365 at +175 .

Tips Summary

New England Patriots To Beat Denver Broncos
Sunday 12th November 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 13th November 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: -313

Take +6.5 Spread Denver Broncos
Sunday 12th November 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 13th November 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: +104

New England Patriots To Score Under 26 Points
Sunday 12th November 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 13th November 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: -110

Danny Amendola To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 12th November 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 13th November 2017 01:30 GMT)
Odds: +175