SNF Patriots vs. Broncos Week 16 odds and predictions
Every week, VSiN will be doing an in-depth dive on the week’s Sunday Night Football game. In Week 16, that game features the Denver Broncos hosting the New England Patriots at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. The Patriots are coming off a 10-point loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Broncos just got blown out by the Detroit Lions. However, Denver has mostly been solid lately, so this is a good spot against a lousy New England team. With that out of the way, keep reading for our Patriots vs. Broncos preview, picks and player props.
How To Watch Patriots vs. Broncos
Date: Sunday, December 24
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Patriots vs. Broncos Spread
Over the last two seasons, New England is 4-14 against the spread as an underdog. The Patriots have also been prone to spiraling recently, as they are 0-6 ATS in road games after having lost three of their last four games over the last three seasons. They have also lost by 8.7 points per game in that second situation. On top of all that, this is a game that New England should want to lose, but Denver needs a victory in order to stay alive in the AFC playoff picture. So, the difference in motivation level here is absolutely massive.
I also just have a hard time picturing the Patriots having any sort of offensive success here. Bailey Zappe looked awful in last week’s 27-17 loss to the Chiefs. He now faces a Broncos defense that had looked rather solid until they got destroyed by the Lions’ play action game. However, New England doesn’t have the same running game as Detroit, and Zappe isn’t nearly as good as Jared Goff. So, it’s an entirely different ballgame for the Broncos, who should be able to shut down everything the Patriots throw at them here.
The Patriots are a better defensive team than they are given credit for, but the Broncos are 16th in the league in Offensive DVOA. Whether it’s Russell Wilson and Courtland Sutton in the passing game or Javonte Williams on the ground, Denver is the more talented team than New England at every level of the offense. With that in mind, I think we can count on more successful drives from Denver in this game, and I expect them to cash in on a few — even in a game that could be pretty ugly because of the weather.
Patriots vs. Broncos Total
The total in this game is uncomfortably low, so I’m not going to strongly suggest going either way on it. However, I do have a slight lean to the Under. It’s just hard to ignore who is playing quarterback for the Patriots right now, and that’s a team that prefers to run the ball to begin with. So, New England is a team that is always a threat to play a low-scoring game, and Denver isn’t all that different. The Broncos do occasionally make big plays through the air, but they like to establish the running game and wear out opposing defenses. So, when you consider the weather in this game, it’s hard to expect points.
The Under is also 9-5 in the 14 games the Patriots have played this season and 8-6 in the 14 games the Broncos have played. With that in mind, both of these teams have gone Under more often than not.
Patriots vs. Broncos Player Props
Russell Wilson Under 22.5 Rushing Yards (-113 – Play To Under 21.5)
Wilson has rushed for just 11 total yards over the last two weeks, so he hasn’t been as aggressive when it comes to taking off himself. The veteran now faces a New England defense that gives up the second fewest yards per game of any team in the NFL. The Patriots have also done a good job of keeping opposing quarterbacks in check. Wilson has also had some fumbling issues this season, so I would be surprised if he were willing to run in the sloppy weather and risk losing the football.
Patriots vs. Broncos Prediction
I don’t love the idea of laying a touchdown in what should be a low-scoring game, but I’d take the Broncos -7 if I had to play anything here. I don’t see Denver putting up much more than 21 or so points, but I also have a hard time seeing New England reaching 14. And I like the Broncos’ chances of winning by margin more than I like the Under, as I can see there being a defensive touchdown — or a special team botch — that pushes this thing close to the Over.
Lean: Broncos -7
Head to our Pro Picks page to see how VSiN analysts are betting Patriots vs. Broncos!