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Broncos NFL's luckiest team

Nov 30, 2008 7:44 PM
by Mark Mayer | It’s easy to see why the Tennessee Titans and the New York Giants have the best records in the NFL especially since they are a combined 20-3-1 against the spread, according to Don That said, the Denver Broncos are the flaw in a perfect explanation of the system.

At 6-5, the Broncos enjoy a two-game lead over San Diego in the pathetic AFC West despite having a 3-8 ATS mark. That’s worse than 1-10 Kansas City (5-6 ATS), 2-10 Seattle (4-7-1 ATS), 1-9-1 Cincinnati (4-7 ATS) and 0-12 Detroit (4-8 ATS). The Broncos went through a stage losing seven straight games against the spread, yet managed to win three of them (San Diego by 1, New Orleans by 2 and Tampa Bay by 3).

In six of those seven games, Denver was the favorite. That’s good news for those who like the Broncos today, for they are a road underdog of 7½ points against the New York Jets. Also the Broncos won outright as underdogs in their last two road games against Atlanta and Cleveland. And that’s how we lead into the Week 13 slate.

From a lines standpoint, this is the most competitive slate of games this season. There are no double-digit favorites, which means we won’t be harping on last week’s 17-2 ATS mark underdogs owned in that role. GamingToday’s columnist Andy Iskoe astutely noted that signs pointed to a shift in the balance and it began last Thursday with both Tennessee and Dallas easily covering as double-digit favorites. So file away the 17-4 ATS for the dogs until next week.

The closest game on the slate is at New England where the Patriots are a 1-point favorite over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The longest shots on the board are the Broncos (at Jets) and Rams (hosting Miami) both as 7½-point underdogs. The hottest team against the number is Baltimore, a 7-point road favorite at Cincinnati. The Ravens have covered five of their last six games.