Sunday, November 29, 2020, Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado, 4:05 p.m. ET
Saints at Broncos Betting Preview: Saints (-5.5/-114), Broncos (+5.5/-106)
New Orleans Saints
Quarterback Taysom Hill stood out in his first career NFL start and he now looks to lead the Saints (8-2) to their eighth consecutive victory. Hill completed 18 of 23 passes for 233 yards and rushed for 49 yards and two touchdowns as New Orleans recorded a 24-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday.
They won by at least 14 points for the third straight week despite the absence of Drew Brees (fractured ribs). Saints coach Sean Payton has boasted about the 30-year-old Hill’s quarterbacking skills, and the first NFL’s first extended view was an overwhelming success. Receiver Michael Thomas had season bests of nine catches and 104 yards in the contest but still hasn’t found the end zone in four games this season.
Running back Alvin Kamara finds the end zone often as he ranks second in the NFL with 12 touchdowns (eight rushing, four receiving) while also ranking second with 1,179 yards from scrimmage (531 rushing, 648 receiving). Trey Hendrickson had two sacks against Atlanta and is tied for the NFL lead with 9.5 while fellow defensive end Cameron Jordan (5.5) posted three sacks against the Falcons. Kamara (foot) and Thomas (ankle) were limited in practice on Wednesday, but neither player is believed to be in danger of missing the game.
Guard Andrus Peat (concussion) and standout returner Deonte Harris (neck) were hurt against Atlanta and both could sit out. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore (abdomen) was a full practice participant Wednesday, and he should return after missing one game.
The Broncos (4-6) will be attempting to record consecutive wins for the second time this season after producing a solid 20-13 win over the Miami Dolphins. The defensive effort rated as a huge improvement after Denver gave up 144 points in the previous four games, yielding at least 30 on each occasion.
The Broncos allowed just 223 total yards and sacked Miami’s overmatched Tua Tagovailoa six times before the rookie was removed in favor of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. Denver quarterback Drew Lock was been turnover-prone and is tied for second in the NFL with 11 interceptions and is a big reason why the team owns an NFL-worst minus-13 turnover ratio (23 giveaways, 10 takeaways). Lock, who has thrown for 1,767 yards and seven touchdowns, passed for 270 yards against Miami, his second-best total of the season.
Running back Melvin Gordon (523 rushing yards, seven total scores) averaged a season-best 5.6 yards per carry while gaining 84 yards with two touchdowns against the Dolphins. Standout rookie wideout Jerry Jeudy (37 receptions, 589 yards) is dealing with ankle and Achilles soreness and was a limited practice participant on Wednesday. Cornerback Bryce Callahan (foot) sat out Wednesday and will be monitored throughout the week.
Saints at Broncos Betting Pick for Week 12
New Orleans is 3-1 on the road this season, including a 38-3 slaughter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9. The Saints have lost five straight games to the Broncos since their recording their lone victory in Denver — a 30-28 victory in 1994 when the quarterbacks were Jim Everett (Saints) and Hugh Millen (Broncos), with the latter filling in for injured John Elway.
But history is less of a factor than the Mile High altitude, and Hill is used to playing at elevation from his college career at BYU. Factor in Lock’s pattern of turnovers and the Broncos seem likely to fall just short.
Saints at Broncos Betting Pick: Saints 31, Broncos 27
Saints at Broncos Best Bet for Week 12
Hill’s ability to run combined with Kamara’s all-around game spells trouble for Denver defenders. If Gordon plays as well as he did last week, the Broncos’ offense will be potent.
Saints at Broncos Best Bet: OVER 43.5 total points (-106)