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AFC Divisional Round: Broncos, Patriots Sit as Odds Favorites

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The Denver Broncos will have Peyton Manning at the helm when they host the injury-riddled Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday afternoon’s AFC Divisional Playoff matchup as 6.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Manning will be making his first start since being sidelined with a foot injury in a 29-13 loss to Kansas City back in Week 10.

The future Hall of Fame quarterback took over in relief of Brock Osweiler in Denver’s regular-season finale, leading the club to a 27-20 win over San Diego, and clinching the No. 1 seed in the conference heading into Sunday afternoon’s Steelers vs. Broncos betting matchup at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

The Broncos battled inconsistency down the stretch, winning just two of their last four contests, and have been a massive betting disappointment since early November, tallying just two ATS wins in their past nine games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Point production has been a major concern for Denver, who have scored 20 or fewer points in five of their past eight games but enter the postseason with the NFL’s leading defense, holding opponents to a stingy 283.1 total yards per game.

The Steelers head west after claiming an 18-16 Wild Card victory over Cincinnati, but at a high cost, with pivot Ben Roethlisberger and receiver Antonio Brown both suffering injuries.

The status of both remains questionable midweek, and has dramatically impacted the betting line for Sunday’s contest with the spread steadily moving in Denver’s favor after they opened as slim 2.5-point chalk. Pittsburgh came out on top with a 34-27 home victory over the Broncos in Week 15 but are 1-3 SU in their last four visits to Denver

In Saturday’s AFC Divisional Playoff matchup, the Kansas City Chiefs will be gunning for a 12th straight SU win when they visit the New England Patriots as 5.5-point betting underdogs.

The Chiefs are riding high following a stunning 30-0 rout of the Houston Texans on Wild Card Weekend, and will hit the gridiron at Gillette Stadium as betting underdogs for the first time in their last nine games.

The Patriots will be looking to halt the two-game SU losing skid that cost them the No. 1 seed in the conference. However, New England has proven to be a reliable bet at home this season, going a respectable 4-1-3 ATS, covering as big 14-point chalk in their last home contest, a 33-16 rout of the Tennessee Titans in Week 15.

Watch Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts live on TNF

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The Indianapolis Colts host the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football in a battle of two former contenders whose seasons have gone wrong.

Following a strong start, the Broncos went 1-8, as their typically astute defense has struggled to keep opponents out of the end zone. Denver’s offense has not helped the team’s cause either. The Broncos have failed to find clarity at quarterback with Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch all seeing time.

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The Colts have had their own deficiencies this season without star quarterback Andrew Luck. Jacoby Brissett has provided admirable coverage under center with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions, but he has not been able to keep up with a Colts defense that has let up the second-most points in the NFL this season.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Broncos vs. Colts

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Watch Dallas Cowboys vs. Oakland Raiders live on SNF

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The Oakland Raiders host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football as both teams look to keep their playoff hopes alive.

With a win, Dallas will maintain its chances of sneaking into the playoffs as a wild card. After struggling initially, Dak Prescott has been able to adjust to life without Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott threw for three touchdowns and a season-high 332 yards in the Cowboys win last week over the New York Giants.

If the Cowboys can hang around, Elliott can give them a boost when he returns from suspension next week heading into the final stretch of the season.

Road to Super Bowl LII: Stream, start time, highlights and more

The Raiders also find themselves in need of a win as they are in the middle of a contested AFC West battle with the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. Derek Carr and the Raiders’ offense will need to improve after dropping from the league’s sixth-best offense in 2016 to 19th this season.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Cowboys vs. Raiders

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app