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Patriots vs Broncos NFL Picks

Published on: 11th October, 2009

Patriots vs Broncos Free NFL Picks  | read this item

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Patriots at Broncos: McDaniels won’t beat Belichick at his own game

Denver head coach Josh McDaniels gets his first crack at his former teacher, Bill Belichick, when the Broncos (4-0) and Patriots (3-1) meet this weekend. Undefeated Denver is getting the job done with a stifling defense, which looked sharp in last week’s win over Dallas. Meanwhile, the Pats proved they can still roll with the big boys by knocking off the Ravens. So who should sportsbook bettors pick on Sunday?

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

Sunday, October 11 at 4:15 p.m. ET

NFL odds: Patriots -3

Critics have pointed to Denver’s soft schedule—the Broncos have beat Cincinnati, Cleveland, Oakland and Dallas—as proof the team isn’t for real, but results are results. The defense has been absolutely dominant this season, allowing just 6.5 points per game, far and away the best in the NFL. Underappreciated linebacker Elvis Dumervil, who had 25.5 sacks in his first 45 games, is turning into a superstar this season. The former fourth-round pick already has 17 tackles and eight sacks; if his Tour de Force continues, Denver’s defense will continue impressing football bettors.

McDaniels has employed an offense eerily reminiscent of the early 2000s Patriots teams; run the football, minimize mistakes, score just enough to win. The running game has been impressive, ranking fourth in the league. It’s been a committee approach to this point but rookie Knowshon Moreno will get his first career start on Sunday with Corell Buckhalter injured. Perhaps most impressive is quarterback Kyle Orton. Tossed on the trash heap by Chicago, Orton has responded with no turnovers and just six sacks through four games.

Speaking of quarterbacks, Tom Brady is still trying to find his stride. He played well against the Ravens, completing 65 percent of his passes while tossing and running for a touchdown.  And while Brady’s personal numbers don’t stack up with the league’s leading passers, he’s still running an efficient offense; the Patriots are second in the NFL in first downs per game, sixth in third-down percentage and 10th in turnover differential. The running game could still use a boost, though. Save for Fred Taylor’s Week 3 effort against Atlanta, Brady has been forced to carry the load alone.

On the other side of the football, New England keeps plugging away—it isn’t pretty, but it gets the job done. The “D” slowed down the Ravens, one of the league’s best offensive teams this season, and held Joe Flacco to just 5.6 yards per attempt. The Patriots admittedly lucked out, though, when Mark Clayton dropped a fourth-down pass that would have kept a potential game-winning drive alive. Regardless, this is a well-coached bunch that will find a way to get the job done.

The Broncos are good enough to shut down their opponent’s running game, but that shouldn’t affect New England—as any good betting software will tell you, it can’t run anyway. After facing Carson Palmer, Brady Quinn, JaMarcus Russell and (a struggling) Tony Romo in the first four games, Brady is easily the best quarterback Denver’s defense has crossed. This will be typical Patriots game we grew so accustomed to before Randy Moss arrived on the scene—reduce mistakes, grind and scrape, find a way to win. Denver is playing the same game, but Belichick and the Patriots perfected it. Pats win a close one on your sports picks.

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