Minnesota Vikings (2-1) at Denver Broncos (3-0)
The Broncos are one of seven 3-0 teams in the league right now, but they only rank 13th in rate of moving the chains differential, worst among undefeated teams. Their defense has been great, improving on a strong 2014 in their first season with Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator, but their offense ranks 25th in rate of moving the chains, as the offensive line has struggled mightily, CJ Anderson has looked slow, and Peyton Manning, while still capable, has looked every bit of 39 years old. The Vikings, meanwhile, are 2-1 and rank 19th in rate of moving the chains differential, after winning back-to-back home games against Detroit and San Diego.
Given that, this line at 6.5 might seem too high, but the Broncos are also in such a good spot that I’m actually going with the Broncos this week, especially without a huge public lean on Minnesota. The Broncos go to Oakland next week, so they don’t have any real distractions on the horizon. The Vikings don’t either, going into a bye, but the better team usually prevails and covers without a distraction on the horizon. The Broncos are projected to be 6.5 point favorites in Oakland next week. Teams are 105-65 ATS since 2010 as 6+ point favorites before being 6+ point favorites again and teams are 64-43 ATS before being 4+ point favorites, 41-26 ATS before being 6+ point favorites, and 27-12 ATS before being 7+ point road favorites since 2012. As long as this line is under a touchdown, the Broncos should be the right side, but I wouldn’t put money on it.
Denver Broncos 23 Minnesota Vikings 13
Pick against the spread: Denver -6.5