Broncos vs Patriots Prediction: Denver can keep Wild Card hopes alive

 | December 23 | 

4 mins read

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The Denver Broncos lost ground in the tight battle for wild-card places in the AFC when suffering a comprehensive 42-17 defeat to the Detroit Lions in their last game, but they have an ideal opportunity to get back on track in the final game of the NFL's Christmas Eve line-up. (UK start-time 01.15, Dec 25th).

The Broncos host the disappointing New England Patriots, who are already eliminated from play-off contention and sport a 3-11 record in what increasingly looks like it could be the final season with the team for all-time great head coach Bill Belichick.

The home team have little margin for error if they want to extend their season, while the Patriots are reduced to trying to play the role of spoiler.

Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots Betting Tips

  • Denver Broncos -7.5 @ 20/21
  • Jerry Jeudy anytime touchdown scorer @ 9/4

Match Odds

The Broncos are 2/7 to win their eighth game of the season on Sunday night, with the Patriots 11/4 to post an upset victory.

The total points line for the game has been set low at just 34.5 points, with 20/23 available for under 34.5 and 20/21 on over 34.5. The handicap is 7.5 points, with Denver -7.5 at 20/21 and New England +7/5 at 20/23.

Team news
The Broncos have ruled out linebacker Nik Bonitto (knee) and tight end Greg Dulcich (hamstring/foot) but linebacker Jonathon Cooper (ankle) is available.

The Patriots will be without safety Jabrill Peppers (hamstring), wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (ankle) and running back Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle). Tight end Hunter Henry (knee) may be able to play after returning to the practice field on Friday.

Denver Broncos -7.5 @ 20/21

The Broncos' play-off charge had been gathering momentum heading into last week's game against Detroit, as Sean Payton's team had won six of their previous seven contests, with a narrow loss to the Texans being the only setback.

However, their challenge came off the rails with the 42-17 loss in the Motor City. Hope remains alive, though, and with back-to-back home games against the struggling Patriots and Chargers coming up, the Broncos should fancy their chances of getting back into the mix for a wild-card berth.

There could be a festive scene in Colorado on Sunday night with sub-zero temperatures and snow in the forecast, and that's part of the reason why this match has the lowest total points line of all the Week 16 games at just 34.5.

Another factor in that is the poor performance of the New England offence this year. The Patriots are the lowest-scoring team this season with just 186 points scored in 14 games (the Broncos rank 16th, with 304) and combining that general ineffectiveness with tough conditions suggests they could struggle again. Both teams are also relatively stronger defensively than on offence so it could be tough for both teams to move the ball.

The Broncos should still be able to find a way to pull clear of the low-scoring visitors with their more balanced offence, and the Patriots will be without one of their key defensive players in safety Jabrill Peppers. He has played in every game since joining the team before the 2022 season, so adjusting to his absence could lead to issues in the New England secondary.

The Broncos have a variety of options with Javonte Williams leading their rushing attack while Courtland Sutton is having a huge year at wide receiver, making some spectacular touchdown catches. The young players in the Denver defence have really come to the fore this season after a slow start for the whole team and the hosts should be able to pick up a win by a decent margin.

Denver -7.5 vs New England

Jerry Jeudy anytime touchdown scorer @ 9/4

Patriots coach Bill Belichick makes a habit of focusing on taking away the opposing team's biggest threat with his defensive game plans, and looking at the statistics from this season, it would be no surprise if he does everything he can to stop Courtland Sutton in this game. Sutton has 10 receiving touchdowns for the Broncos this year and no other player has more than three.

Jerry Jeudy, the team's second-leading receiver, is way down that list with only one touchdown catch, but he could benefit and reach the end zone if New England focuses too much attention on his partner. Jeudy had his eighth game of the season with 50-plus receiving yards against the Lions and is more than capable of taking advantage if the Patriots put extra resources into defending against Sutton.

J JEUDY ANYTIME TOUCHDOWN SCORER

NFL Betting tips, from Betfred Insights.

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