Normally bye-weeks are welcomed, but that might not be the case this time for Denver.
The Broncos come off the idle week having won six of their last seven games, including three straight point-spread covers. It is quite possible Denver will be a rare road favorite at Oakland against the Raiders when the two AFC West rivals meet Sunday.
"Bettors are taking Denver seriously, believe me," said John Avello director of race and sports operations at Wynn Las Vegas. "The game against Philadelphia made them believers."
The Broncos jumped out 21-0 against the best team in the NFC the past three years. When the Eagles rallied within 27-21 and were driving, the Broncos shut the door by scoring the last 21 points.
"Things are going Denver’s way," Avello said. "The schedule is probably among the easiest of any NFL team the rest of the way. They have beaten San Diego, Kansas City, Washington, New England and the Eagles. Plus, Jake Plummer is not forcing the ball as in past years. The bad decisions have been reduced and the results show."
Outside of the season opening loss at Miami, Coach Mike Shanahan’s club has not played a bad game. The only other setback came against the Giants at the Meadowlands on the final play of the game. Even with that 24-23 defeat, the Broncos covered as a three-point underdog.
Shanahan’s record is stellar coming off a bye, posting a 12-4 ATS mark with the extra week of preparation. In 11 years at Denver, Shanahan has won 114 games.
The offensive line, regarded by most NFL experts as the best in football, is again the team’s strength —allowing for equal balance between running and passing. In turn, Plummer is enjoying his best year as a pro in terms of turnover ratio (12 TD, 3 INT).
The Broncos have won and covered the last four matchups with Oakland, including the past two in front of Raider Nation. It would be good news historically if Denver were favored. The last seven in this series has seen the favorite go 6-1 ATS.
The immediate schedule has the Broncos hosting the struggling New York Jets next week, then traveling to Dallas and Kansas City. The Broncos don’t play again at Invesco Field until Dec. 11 against Baltimore. The rematch with the Raiders will be Dec. 24 in Denver.
The Monday night outcome of the Colts-Patriots game is of particular importance to Denver, which at 6-2 owns the second best record in the AFC. The Colts were 7-0 entering the clash at Foxborough.
Broncos by the numbers
(6-2 SU, 5-2-1 ATS)
Date line /opp result ATS
S 11 -5Â½ MIA 10-34 L
S 18 -3.0 SD 20-17 P
S 26 -3.0 KC 30-10 W
O 2 +3Â½ JAX 20-7 W
O 9 -7.0 WAS 21-19 L
O 16 -3.0 NE 28-20 W
O 23 +3.0 NYG 23-24 W
O 30 -4.0 PHI 49-21 W