Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers Betting Preview

Sunday, December 13, 2020, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1 p.m. ET

Broncos at Panthers Betting Preview: Broncos (+4/-110), Panthers (-4/-110)

Denver Broncos

The Broncos (4-8) have lost four of their last five games to pretty much fall out of playoff contention. The strong effort last week in the loss at Kansas City came with encouraging moments, but minus the outcome that would have been needed to turn things around.

Quarterback Drew Lock has nine touchdown throws compared to 13 interceptions. That’s part of the team’s 14 passing touchdowns with 21 interceptions. With the team’s 118.9 rushing yards per game, that’s not an ideal combination. That’s probably why the Broncos have scored more than 20 points in only four of 12 games.

Denver is down players in the secondary with the suspension of cornerback A.J. Bouye and the season-ending injury for rookie cornerback Essang Bassey (knee). For that to happen pretty much all at once, it might be tough for the Broncos to recover from the impact of that, particularly if Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is back to form as one of the NFL’s leaders in completion percentage.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers (4-8) are coming off their open week, having to wait until December before taking a break. When ready to return to normal activities, they went on a pause because of coronavirus protocols before reaching the practice field again. Still, the break figured to do this team some good and they’re trying to shake a stretch that includes losses in five of their last six games.

Carolina receivers D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel are among those on the reserve/COVID-19 list, so if they’re not available that would put a glitch in their plans. Linebacker Shaq Thompson, a defensive leader, could be out for the same reason.

Things were lining up for running back Christian McCaffrey to be back in action after missing the past three games, this time with a shoulder ailment. Now there’s some hesitation on his status because of quad discomfort, so that’s worth keeping in mind.

Broncos at Panthers Betting Pick for Week 14

The Panthers’ only victory against Denver came in 2008 at home. The two-most recent meetings came in calendar year 2016, with the Broncos winning the Super Bowl in February and then repeating that success with a one-point victory the following September at home. There have been some hard-luck results for the Panthers (at New Orleans, at Kansas City, at Minnesota), so they should be due for some fortune falling their way.

Broncos at Panthers Betting Pick:

Panthers 27, Broncos 21

Broncos at Panthers Best Bet for Week 14

While some of the Panthers’ key offensive players might be out, the absence of starters on the defensive side could be more devastating. The Broncos figure to be finding their groove a bit more offensively after a week to regroup from the quarterback-less game. Denver’s ability to break down Carolina’s nickel coverage packages will be instrumental in bolstering the point total.

Broncos at Panthers Best Bet: OVER 47 total points (-110)

OddsUSA’s NFL Best Picks for Week 13

Greetings NFL fans. Here’s hoping you and your families had a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Last week, we had a couple of interesting events unfold. First, all of the quarterbacks for the Denver Broncos were out of the mix due to COVID-19 protocol. Second, after hanging tough with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Las Vegas Raiders were blown out by the Atlanta Falcons to the tune of 43-6.

And last, but certainly not least, I predicted wins for the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, and the Kansas City Chiefs. And for the first time in several weeks, I was correct on each of those selections, giving me a 3-0 week.

As a result, my overall record improved to 28-7 on the season. While it was nice to finally hit on each of those picks, Week 12 is in the books now and it is time to look ahead to the upcoming slate of games. Having said that, here’s a look at my top outright picks for Week 13.

Week 13 NFL Best Bet No. 3:

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans (-4)

If you’ve been following my column at any point during the season, my first pick usually involves a matchup that could go either way, and that is certainly the case here. Both teams are coming off wins in Week 12. The Browns narrowly edged the Jacksonville Jaguars by a 27-25 margin. Meanwhile, the Titans defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-26. Additionally, both of these teams have posted three wins in their last four contests. While both teams have a formidable running game, the Titans are a bit more balanced from an offensive standpoint and that will help them to come away with a win in what should be a very competitive game between a pair of teams with an identical 8-3 record.

James’ pick: Titans win in a close one

Week 13 NFL Best Bet No. 2:

Las Vegas Raiders (-7.5) at New York Jets

Sure, the Raiders have dropped their last two games. Sure, the Raiders are coming off one of their poorest showings of the season against the Falcons. On the flip side of the coin, though, the Jets have yet to win a game this season. Yes, the jury is still out on how good the Raiders are. At the same time, this is the winless Jets we’re talking about here. On the heels of two straight losses, and their playoff hopes starting to look a bit dim, look for the Raiders to bounce back in a big way here.

James’ pick: Raiders get back into the win column

James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 13:

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5)

There is a reason why the defending champs have been one of my best bets several times during the season and that trend will continue in Week 13. On one side of this matchup, the Broncos are 4-7 and have dropped three of their last four contests. On the flip side of the equation, the defending champs have reeled off six straight victories since suffering a 40-32 loss against the Raiders in Week 5. Not only that, but the Chiefs’ aerial attack is rounding into form, and just at the right time. In fact, Patrick Mahomes has posted four consecutive games in which he has thrown for at least 350 yards. This includes a season-best 462-yard performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Simply put, the Chiefs are one of the hottest teams in the league right now and they will win this one going away. It would be a surprise if the Chiefs didn’t win this one by at least 10 points.

James’ pick: Chiefs win outright and by at least 10 points

New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos Betting Preview

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.

Denver Broncos

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)

Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos Betting Preview

Sunday, November 22, 2020, Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado, 4:05 p.m. ET

Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos Betting Preview: Dolphins (-3.5/-103), Broncos (+3.5/-121)

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins (6-3) bid for their sixth straight victory on Sunday behind rookie Tua Tagovailoa, who has thrown five touchdown passes without an interception over his three starts this season. Tagovailoa found the end zone twice for the second straight game in Miami’s 29-21 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Salvon Ahmed has made the most of his playing time in place of the injured Myles Gaskin (knee), following up a 5.4 yards per carry performance against Arizona on Nov. 8 with 85 yards and a touchdown versus the Chargers. Fellow running back Matt Breida is trending in the right direction after being a full participant in practice on Wednesday for the first time since sustaining a hamstring injury.

DeVante Parker, who leads the team in receptions (38) and receiving yards (462), has mustered just 14 catches for 183 yards in his last five games. Diminutive wideout Jakeem Grant has come on strong with four receptions in three of his last four games.

Denver Broncos

While the Dolphins are ascending, the Broncos (3-6) have dropped three of four and could be forced to take another turn on the quarterback carousel. Drew Lock, who threw a career-high four interceptions in Denver’s 37-12 setback to Las Vegas on Sunday, is nursing a rib injury that could put backup Brett Rypien under center this weekend.

The Broncos’ running game has failed to get untracked this season, with Phillip Lindsay repeatedly nursing injuries while he attempts to aid Melvin Gordon in the backfield. Denver’s 19th-ranked rushing game mustered just 66 yards versus Las Vegas.

Rookie Jerry Jeudy is leading the team in average yards per catch (16.2) and receiving yards (552), including 17.7 and 266 being accumulated over the last three games. Tight end Noah Fant, who leads the team in catches (35), now is nursing an injury to his ribs after being hobbled by an ailing ankle.

Dolphins at Broncos Betting Pick for Week 11

Miami’s opportunistic defense likely will be relishing the chance to greet Rypien, who has tossed four interceptions in two games this season. The Dolphins’ defense is tied for fourth in the NFL with 15 takeaways and seven fumble recoveries.

That defense will present Tagovailoa with a short field to work his magic, ultimately resulting in a convincing victory for a Miami team eyeing the penthouse in the AFC East.

Dolphins at Broncos Betting Pick: Dolphins 28, Broncos 13

Dolphins at Broncos Best Bet for Week 11

While Tagovailoa has been victorious, he hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire. His efficient and mistake-free performances are gold in the eyes of Brian Flores, however, the scoreboard operator may not be as impressed.

Dolphins at Broncos Best Bet: UNDER 45 (-110)