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Osweiler, defense try to lift Broncos past Patriots

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The Denver Broncos will be trying to end a three-game losing streak against the spread when they battle the undefeated New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football as 3-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Broncos return home after posting a 17-15 win in Chicago last weekend, eking out the victory on the strength of some poor play calling by the Bears. Chicago chose to forego a field goal attempt in a fourth-and-goal situation in the second half only to come up short on a play that would prove to be the difference in the game.

While the win ended their two-game straight up losing streak, Denver once again failed to cover the spread, this time as 2.5-point chalk.  Denver enters Sunday night’s Patriots vs. Broncos betting matchup at Sports Authority Field with just two ATS wins in their past seven outings.

Points have been hard to come by for the Broncos, who have scored an average of 18 per game over their last three games after averaging almost 25 points per game in their previous three.

With Peyton Manning sidelined with a foot injury, the task of re-igniting the Denver offense has fallen to Brock Osweiler, who will make his second NFL career start under center for the Broncos in Sunday’s contest.

Ostweiler performed admirably in last week’s win over the Bears, but it’s their defense that played a larger role in getting the Broncos to their current 8-2 record. The group has held opposing passers to under 300 yards in each of their last five.

Denver’s pass defense will be kept busy on Sunday night trying to contain Tom Brady. The New England quarterback is averaging an NFL-leading 332 passing yards per game and surpassed 300 yards in three of his four road performances this season.

While Brady continues to drive the offense, the Patriots’ defense quietly surpassed the Broncos as tops in the NFL, holding opponents to 17 or fewer points in five of their last eight games.

However, the 10-0 Patriots have surrendered 26 or more points in three of their four road contests this year and have also struggled at the sportsbooks, posting ATS wins in just two of their last six games according to the OddsShark NFL Database, while being favored by seven or more points in each of those clashes.

New England has also struggled in recent visits to the Rockies, posting just one SU win in their last five, getting outscored by over eight points per game in each of those losses.

Broncos double-digit favorites on Sunday night vs. winless, depleted Giants

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The Denver Broncos head into Sunday night with the largest spread they have had at home after a bye week in at least 25 years. The Broncos are 11.5-point favorites against the winless New York Giants with a 38.5-point total for the Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Denver is 6-1 straight-up and against the spread in post-bye week games dating back to 2010. There’s a similar long-running trend of Denver being 7-2 SU and ATS in home games following a bye week since 2003. However, this is the first time since 1996 that Denver has been a double-digit favorite in that scenario.

The Giants, which are 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS, had three wide receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr., sustain season-ending injuries last week. That has left QB Eli Manning with WR Roger Lewis (15 career catches) and WR Tavarres King as his main outside targets. Slot WR Sterling Shephard (sprained ankle) could be inactive.

While team performances tend to gravitate toward the mean with time, the Giants will need to show something new – with replacement-level personnel – in order to move the ball against a Denver pass defense which allows only 6.2 yards per pass, fifth-best in the NFL.

The Broncos’ top-ranked defense, led by OLB Von Miller, is also first in run defense and has every starter healthy. While NFC teams are a combined 1-10 SU on the road against Denver since 2012, the Giants are a solid 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the AFC.

Denver, 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS, has been quietly efficient on offense. The Broncos, with QB Trevor Siemian, are in the middle of the NFL pack in yards per pass, but they are facing a Giants secondary that is minus CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (suspension) and has also had inconsistent play from CB Eli Apple.

Denver, 7-2 ATS over its last nine home games in October, has been good at opening holes for the tandem of C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, who are each capable of making things happen in the open field if the tackling gets sloppy. New York also won’t have DT Olivier Vernon drawing double teams up front and keeping blockers off MLB Damon Harrison.

Unless the Broncos stop themselves, they should be able to grind out a workmanlike win.

The total has gone over in three of the Giants’ last four games against the Broncos, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone over in six of the Broncos’ last seven games as a favorite of 11.0 points or more.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Watch Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks live on NBC

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The Seattle Seahawks host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football as both teams look to get back to .500.

Russell Wilson will be the focal point of the Seahawks offense after throwing for a career-high 373 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort vs. the Titans in Week 3. Wilson’s ability to avoid the rush and use his legs will be on full display as Seattle’s offensive line continues to struggle.

On the defensive side, the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” will look to get back on track at home in a raucous environment against Colts QB Jacoby Brissett who is filling in for an injured Andrew Luck.

If the Colts have any chance to pull off the upset on the road, Brissett will have to use his legs and connect on some deep throws to T.Y. Hilton.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Colts vs. Seahawks

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app