Saints vs. Broncos: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

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Saints vs. Broncos: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
Harry How/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos host the New Orleans Saints for a Week 8 showdown of two of the game's elite quarterbacks.

Peyton Manning is out to prove he's still the best passer in the game, while Drew Brees will continue to set records.

Denver will be focused on asserting themselves as the class of the struggling AFC West. The Broncos (3-3) are tied with the San Diego Chargers for the division lead.

Norv Turner's team will play in Cleveland this weekend and figures to get to a 4-3 record. The Broncos need to keep pace against a team they should beat at home.

The Saints (2-4) need a win if they are going to keep their thin playoff hopes alive. It is hard to count them out just yet, as their high-powered offense has been on display in recent weeks.

The problem facing New Orleans is a struggling defense that won't be able to keep its team in games against elite defenses.

Here's a comprehensive look at the Saints-Broncos matchup, including spread information, what to expect from big-time fantasy playmakers and a prediction on how this showdown of elite QBs will end.

 

When: Sunday, Oct. 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado

TV: NBC

Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket

Listen (radio): 105.3 WWL (NO) and Saints Radio, 850 KOA (Denver) and Broncos Radio Network

Spread: Denver -6 (via OddsShark)

Who wins?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Bettors that want to take the Saints and the points can get a full touchdown on a few lines. Search those out, as that point could make a difference in this game.

At six points, though, I'm taking Denver.

The Broncos have shown flashes of being a very good team thus far in 2012. Peyton Manning had a bit of a slow start, but is visibly getting stronger every week. He's also making adjustments on throws where he doesn't have the same velocity.

The Saints haven't been able to stop average offenses this season. I don't see them stepping up in a very difficult playing environment.

 

Over/Under: 55½

The last time I was this excited about an over/under was the line of 49 in the Week 3 matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins.

I had a prediction of 72 points.

The Bengals hit my point prediction exactly, but the Redskins were a field goal short.

This game gives me a similar feel. The Saints defense can't stop anyone and Brees can put points up on almost any defense.

Take the over.

 

Injury Report

Denver Broncos

 

 

 

 

 

POS

PLAYER

INJURY

NFL STATUS

 

S

Mike Adams

Knee

Probable

 

CB

Chris Harris

Ankle

Probable

 

G

Chris Kuper

Forearm

Probable

 

CB

Tracy Porter

Illness

Questionable

 

NT

Sealver Siliga

None

Probable

 

TE

Jacob Tamme

Hip

Probable

 

LB

Danny Trevathan

Thumb

Probable

 

WR

Matthew Willis

Hamstring

Probable

 

LB

D.J. Williams

Suspension

 

New Orleans Saints

 

 

 

 

 

POS

PLAYER

INJURY

NFL STATUS

 

TE

Daniel Graham

Knee

Out

 

TE

Jimmy Graham

Ankle

Questionable

 

LB

David Hawthorne

Hamstring

Questionable

 

WR

Joseph Morgan

Chest

Out

 

RB

Darren Sproles

None

Probable

There is a little hope for the Saints on the injury front, though.

 

Fantasy Big Plays

Harry How/Getty Images

Denver Broncos: QB Peyton Manning

Perhaps it isn't fair to single out Manning in this game. Any Broncos offensive player on your roster should get a start this week.

But Manning is poised to do something special this week. On my list of "start-em/sit-em," I have him in the top position. 

The Saints have simply been terrible on defense this season.

They haven't responded from the loss of coaches and a few key players, and that isn't about to change against the best quarterback in the game.

Josh Freeman, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers averaged 365 yards passing and three touchdowns against New Orleans.

Manning will top that.

Projected Stats: 32-of-42 for 410 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT

 

Harry How/Getty Images
Drew Brees may need a few oxygen breaks in Mile High as well.

New Orleans Saints: QB Drew Brees

One of the underlying assumptions to Manning's big numbers is the Saints actually keeping pace with the Broncos. Denver's defense has been susceptible at times this season and Brees should be able to exploit the secondary.

Overall, the Denver defense is ranked 10th in average yards and average passing yards per game. They held Rivers to 241 passing yards and Brady only threw for 223. 

Rivers did most of his damage in one half, though, and the Patriots had such a large lead that they didn't need to continue to pass the ball.

As for Brees—he's the top passer in the NFL this season and is averaging 350 yards per game. He has a passer rating of 96.1.

He'll need Marques Colston to step up and fill the void created if Jimmy Graham can't play, but Brees will put up big numbers, regardless. 

Projected Stats: 29-of-40 for 318 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT

 

Key to Victory

Defense

It seems odd to list defense as the key in a predicted high-scoring game, but that is where this game will be won. The Saints are ranked dead-last in total defense and 29th in scoring defense.

The New Orleans defense will need to step up on Sunday night if the Saints want to have a chance to win. I don't see it happening; the Saints will fade over the final quarter.

Denver has a solid defense and while they won't stop Brees completely, they'll do enough to limit him.

 

Prediction

Lots of offense and very little defense, at least from the Saints.

The Denver secondary will have their hands full with the Saints receivers; Colston and Devery Henderson will get separation and Brees will be able to find them.

It just won't be enough to keep up with Manning and his offense, though.

I do expect Brees to throw a pair of interceptions in this game, as he will need to force things to keep his team in the game.

The game will be close, but a 10-0 fourth quarter will be the deciding factor.

Final Score: Denver 38, New Orleans 27

 

Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.

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