Nov 122016

Denver Broncos (6-3) at New Orleans Saints (4-4)

This line has shifted significantly in the past week, as the Broncos were favored by a point on the early line, but are now 3 point road favorites in New Orleans. It’s a somewhat understandable line movement. The Saints have won 4 of 5 after a 0-3 start, including a 41-23 victory in San Francisco last week, while the Broncos have lost 3 of 5 since a 4-0 start, including a 30-20 loss in Oakland last week. On top of that, the Saints got back key defenders Delvin Breaux and Sheldon Rankins from injury last week, while the Broncos are without key defenders Derek Wolfe and Aqib Talib this week.

That being said, that’s still a very large line movement, as about 1 in 4 games are decided by 3 points or fewer, and I’m not sure it’s completely warranted. This line suggests these two teams are about even, which I don’t think is quite true. The Broncos enter this game still in 6th in first down rate differential, while the Saints enter in 13th. Injury situations aside, the Broncos are still the better team right now. The Broncos are also in a much better spot, as the Saints have to turn around and go to Carolina next week on Thursday Night Football. Favorites are 50-80 ATS since 2008 before Thursday Night Football.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are in a great spot in their 2nd of two road games. Teams are 135-103 ATS as road underdogs off a road loss since 2008, including 107-71 ATS when it’s their 2nd of 2 road games. This is because teams tend to do better in their 2nd straight road game than their first one, but lines don’t really adjust for this. Teams are 227-244 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.86 points per game, as opposed to 326-456 straight up in their 1st of one road game since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 3.02 points per game. The Broncos are worth a bet if you can get the full field goal. The moneyline is also a good bet, as this game is a toss up at worst for the visiting Broncos.

Denver Broncos 24 New Orleans Saints 23 Upset Pick +125

Pick against the spread: Denver +3

Confidence: Medium

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