Denver Broncos Enter Matchup With New Orleans Saints As Decisive Underdogs

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The Denver Broncos defied bettor expectations earlier this month in a resounding Week 10 upset over the Miami Dolphins, ending a two-game losing streak.

Pegged as 4-point home underdogs, the Broncos held the Dolphins to 223 total yards in the 20-13 victory. Nevertheless, the Broncos find themselves as considerable home dogs again this week against the Saints. As of 3:30 p.m. MST on Nov. 25, the Saints remained consensus six-point favorites even with Drew Brees ruled out with a rib injury.

Prior to last week’s win, the Broncos dropped three of their previous four contests by a combined 59 points. The Broncos (4-6) are 3-2 at home this season against the spread and 2-3 straight up.

Line shopping

Recent movement at top sportsbooks throughout Colorado illustrates the importance of line shopping. While three prominent sportsbooks — DraftKings, BetMGM, and PointsBet — set the spread at six on Wednesday afternoon, FanDuel installed New Orleans as 6.5 point favorites. The extra half-point could be critical in a potential 23-17 victory by the Saints. The line jumped by a point at FanDuel after approximately 81% of spread bets were placed on the Saints.

If you think the Broncos will win straight up, consider a moneyline wager (+225) at DraftKings. On a $100 wager, the bet will net you an additional $10 in comparison with a wager at BetMGM, where the moneyline is +215. Two others, FanDuel and PointsBet, list the Broncos at +220 on the moneyline.

All four books, as of Wednesday afternoon, listed the total at 43.5 points. The under has hit in five of the Broncos’ 10 games this season, including each of the last two. After allowing 35.5 points per game in two losses to start the month, the Broncos’ defense tightened against the Dolphins. Two Miami quarterbacks, Tua Tagovailoa and Ryan Fitzpatrick, combined for only 167 yards through the air, while Dolphins’ running backs averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.

In his first career start, Taysom Hill passed for 233 yards in the Saints’ 24-9 win over the Falcons last week. Hill also rushed for 49 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Following Brees’ rib injury, Hill beat out Jameis Winston for the starting quarterback spot. The Saints have notched wins against the spread in each of their last three games.

Prop bets

Broncos quarterback Drew Lock went 18-of-30 for 270 yards in the win over the Dolphins. Since returning from a shoulder injury in September, Lock has passed for at least 250 yards in four of his last six games. PointsBet set the total on overall Lock passing yards for Sunday’s game at 242.5 yards.

Jerry Jeudy, a Broncos’ rookie wideout, exploded for a career-high 125 yards on seven catches in Week 8 against the Falcons. Over the last two weeks, Jeudy has produced modest numbers of 105 yards on seven receptions. Against the Saints, Jeudy’s total at PointsBet is 52.5 receiving yards. PointsBets also has a prop on total rushing yards for Broncos’ running back Melvin Gordon III at 40.5 yards.

The Broncos are still viewed as longshots to make it to the Super Bowl, let alone the postseason. At PointsBet, Denver has odds of 200/1 to win the AFC, fourth-worst among all teams in the conference. The Broncos have odds of 350/1 at DraftKings to win the Super Bowl.

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Matt is a veteran writer with a specific focus on the emerging sports gambling market. During Matt's two decade career in journalism, he has written for the New York Times, Forbes, The Guardian, Reuters and CBSSports.com among others. In his spare time, Matt is an avid reader, a weekend tennis player and a frequent embarrassment to the sport of running.

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