New Orleans Saints (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS)
NFL Week 8
Date/Time: Sunday, October 28th, 2012, 8:20 p.m. EST
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colo.
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NO +6/Den. -6
Over/Under Total: 55.5
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The New Orleans Saints will try and continue their improbable climb back up the NFC South standings and back into the postseason picture when they take on the Denver Broncos in Sports Authority Field in a Drew Brees-vs.-Peyton Manning primetime showdown on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in America.
The Saints have now won two straight games after starting 0-4, and Brees has been instrumental in both of the victories including a 377-yard, 4-TD performance in last week’s win on the road at Tampa Bay, 35-28. The Saints maligned defense continues to give up huge chunks of yardage, but Brees has bailed them out in consecutive weeks with over 31 points in both games. With Manning stepping up to get his crack at the Saints porous defense, we just might be looking at another high-scoring QB shootout if the Saints want any chance to win it on the road.
Denver will be entering the game off their bye week, but the bye week sort of took away all the momentum the Broncos gained in their huge, 35-24, comeback win at San Diego on Monday Night Football the last time they played. Manning led three second half scoring drives and the defense returned both a fumble and an interception for a score in a total team effort to beat the Chargers and get back to even in the AFC West title race.
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With a week off to scheme and strategize how to attack the Saints, you can bet the Broncos and Manning will be ready to get back on the field in yet another national primetime game.
The oddsmakers must be looking at Denver’s extra prep time too, since they set the opening point spread with the Broncos as 6-point favorites at home. After 72 hours it appears the number is spot on, since it hasn’t moved at all in either direction since it’s release.
The over/under total opened at 54.5 at a few of the offshore sportsbooks and was quickly adjusted to where it currently sits at 55.5 within the first day of wagering.
With a total in the mid-50s you’d expect to see some offense on Sunday night, and at least on paper it looks pretty convincing. Brees and the Saints are tops in passing (335 ypg) and 3rd in scoring offense (29.3 ppg), but Manning and the Broncos are no slouch at 4th in passing (291 ypg) and 7th in scoring at 28.3 points per game.
The Broncos defense is a little better equipped to stop the Saints, especially in the air where Champ Bailey, Chris Harris and Co. in the secondary limit opponent’s to just 215 yards passing a game (10th). The Saints are dead last in yards allowed (465 ypg) and you have to think that Manning is going to be like a kid in a candy store come Sunday against this unit.
Since these two teams play in opposite conferences the schedule says they only meet once every four years, and back in 2008 the Broncos survived in a shootout at home, 34-32. Back then Broncos QB Jay Cutler got Denver off to a fast start and the Broncos were able to withstand a 421-yard day from Brees in the comeback.
Over the decades the Broncos hold a solid 4-2 SU advantage, including a 2-1 SU mark at home in Mile High. At the window it’s a juice-draining even heat at 3-3 ATS, although New Orleans is actually 2-1 ATS in the games played in Denver.
Ironically, all but one of the prior six matchups went over the total, including all three Saint-Broncos games played at Denver. The over is 10-1 in the Saints last 11 games overall, and it’s 16-6 in Denver’s last 22 home games.
One of the biggest betting trends shows that the Broncos are actually 8-2 ATS following a bye week.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: We all know that both of these teams have great offenses. One of these teams doesn’t have a defense though. That’s why I’m predicting a Broncos BLOWOUT Sunday. My cash is on Peyton Manning. I cannot wait to see Dumervil and V. Miller sticking Brees on Sunday! Cha-Ching!
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