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Game of the Day: Broncos at Patriots

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (+3, 50)

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will inevitably end up in the NFL Hall of Fame together and have been compared to each other since the former burst onto the scene in 2001. The two star quarterbacks continue their rivalry when the New England Patriots host the Denver Broncos on Sunday. As usual, Brady and Manning have their respective teams near the top of the AFC and Sunday’s meeting could have implications on postseason seeding down the line.

Brady’s teams have defeated Manning’s 10 out of the 15 meetings, but the Broncos got the big win when it counted in the AFC Championship game last season. “Peyton has been a phenomenal player – so consistent and durable for a long period,” Brady told reporters. “We've had a great rivalry. ... He’s always been someone I've really looked up to and admired.” Denver owns the best record in the AFC and joins New England in entering the weekend on a four-game winning streak.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS.

LINE HISTORY: Vegas books opened the Broncos as 3-point road faves and that hasn't moved. The total opened 55 and is down to 50 mostly due to in-climate weather.

INJURY REPORT: Broncos - RB Montee Ball (Questionable, groin), CB Omar Bolden (Questionable, concussion), LB Steven Johnson (Questionable, ankle). Patiots - DB Nate Ebner (Questionable, finger), OL Cameron Fleming (Questionble finger).


POWER RANKINGS: Broncos (-8.75) + Patriots (-3.75) + home field (-3.0) = Broncos -2.0

WHAT CAPPERS SAY: "Denver has won and covered four straight and heads to New England for just its third road game. 9-20 ATS in the last 29 road games versus a team with a winning home record. New England on a four-game winning streak after 2-2 start and plays Denver in its third-straight home game. 3-9 ATS in the last 12 games after scoring more than 30 points." Matt Fargo.

WHAT BOOKS SAY: "We opened the Broncos -3.5 (+100) / Pats +3.5 (-120) and we saw mostly Broncos money at that price. We went to -3.5 -105 and eventually -3.5 flat on the game and that’s when we took a decent size bet from one of sharper players. We went back to Broncos -3.5 and that same sharp bettor took the Pat’s again at that new price, that forced us to get down to 3-flat on this game, which is our current number. Since going to 3-flat though we’ve seen a huge rise in Broncos support and I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually get back to 3.5 on this game. Obviously we hate moving off and on this very key number of 3, so we’ll get to -3 (-120) before going back to 3, but currently we’ve moved it from 3 flat to Broncos -3 (-115) for now." Michael Stewart.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS, 5-2 O/U): Denver received a few extra days to prepare after playing the Thursday night game on Oct. 23 and has looked even better than the team that went to the Super Bowl last season. Defensive end Von Miller, who sat out the win over the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Month for October with seven sacks and cornerback Aqib Talib, who made the Pro Bowl as a member of New England in 2013, is now on the Broncos’ side. “I think they’re forming their identity,” Manning told reporters of the defense. “There is no question they’re playing with confidence, and that’s what you want.”

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS, 6-2 O/U): New England’s rise over the last few weeks can be directly linked to the return to health of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was limited the first month while recovering from a knee injury that knocked him out of the 2013 campaign. The player that delivered the hit that tore up Gronkowski’s knee, safety T.J. Ward, is now with the Broncos, and the Patriots’ star has been avoiding making any statements directly about Ward. Gronkowski’s statements on the field have been loud, and he is coming off a three-TD performance in last week's 51-23 victory over the Chicago Bears.


* Broncos are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings in New England.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Home team is 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Favorite is 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings.

CONSENSUS: 53 percent of wagers are backing the visiting Broncos.

The play: Denver -3

Jags +11
NYJ +9