Buffalo Bills (7-5 SU, 6-6 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (9-3 SU, 6-6 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date and Time: December 7th, 4:05 PM E
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
by Jeff Hochman, Pro Football Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: Buff +10/DEN -10
Over/Under Total: 47.5
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The Buffalo Bills look to take a giant step toward the playoffs by defeating the heavy favorite Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning is 46-21 SU during the month of December in his career so it won’t be easy. Buffalo will have to play the perfect game to escape with the victory. The Bills were on point last week in defeating the Browns 26-10 as 3-point home chalk. Buffalo was outgained by 28 yards, but have gone 6-6 ITS (in the stats) this season. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 29-16 as 1-point road underdogs. Denver dominated the running game led by C.J. Anderson’s 168 yards. Peyton threw for a season-low 179 yards, but managed to throw two touchdowns. Denver held the Chiefs to just 151 total yards. The Broncos have won the stats in nine straight games and are 7-2 SU during this impressive streak.
Denver is averaging 413.9 total yards per game while the Bills are generating 319 total yards. On defense, the Broncos are allowing 302 yards per game while the Bills are giving up 312 yards per game. The big difference is of course the quarterback position. Peyton Manning is in total control of the offense no matter who is in the game. Kyle Orton has been up and down since taking over for E.J. Manuel. The Bills are winning games because of their defense and favorable schedule. Buffalo has defeated the NY Jets twice in less than a month.
Buffalo has recorded 48 QB sacks in 12 games, which is a league high. I would expect the Broncos to install the same game-plan as they had last week against the Chiefs. A run-heavy offense to help offset the furious pass rush that the Bills have enjoyed all season long. The Broncos could have some success through the air as well. Denver is ranked No. 1 in sacks allowed as Manning has gone down just 13 times all year. On the flip side, the Bills have allowed 28 sacks so look for the Bronco’s pass rush to cause the stationary Kyle Orton a lot of distress. Overall, the Bills passing defense has played very well against bad teams. This will be the toughest test for the Bills’ secondary by far.
Sammy Watkins was limited in practice on Wednesday after suffering a hip injury against the Browns. Kyle Orton has refused to take any shots down-field and losing Watkins would be a big blow. Check his status as we get closer to game time. I still think the Bills are the right side. In winning four of their last six games. Buffalo has allowed just 15 points per contest. Fred Jackson is starting to look like the player from last season and will need to improve on his 70-yard performance against the Browns. This 10-point spread is the largest spread for Buffalo all season. They won outright as 7-point underdogs against the Bears in Week one. Buffalo is good enough to defeat the likes of the Bears, Browns, and Jets, but will need some help in stealing this one.
Buffalo is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings. The Over is 4-1 in the last meetings.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Buffalo Bills +10 & Over 47.5
Make sure Sammy Watkins is starting. The Broncos have a much bigger game next week against the Chargers. I think this line is a tad too high, and the weather should be close to 60 degrees with very little wind. I will lean to the road dog and Over 47.5 points.