The Denver Broncos have won six straight games and can clinch the AFC West with another win this Sunday when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mile High Stadium.
The Broncos were an eight-point home favorite at most sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com, but there were plenty of compelling trends pointing to a Bucs cover in this game.
Take Tampa Bay as an underdog. In eight games recently, the Bucs are 6-1-1 ATS.
Take Tampa Bay as a road team. They are 5-0 ATS in their past five games away from home.
And take Tampa Bay at Denver, since 1982. In five games, the Bucs are 4-0-1 ATS, according to the NFL database.
Denver was held under 30 points for the first time in six weeks last Sunday but still managed to win its sixth straight game with a 17-9 road win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Over the course of their six-game winning streak, the Denver Broncos are 4-2 ATS and have averaged 30.5 points per game while allowing just 17.8 points per game.
With Peyton Manning playing like he’s in his prime and a solid defense behind him, the Broncos have emerged as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Tampa Bay had its four-game winning streak snapped last week in a 24-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at home. The Buccaneers are 4-0-1 ATS over their last five games, and like the Broncos have been explosive on offense of late, averaging 32.4 points per game over their last five.
While last week’s loss put a dampener on Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes, at 6-5 SU and 8-2-1 ATS the Buccaneers are still very much in the hunt for an NFC wild-card spot.
Not surprisingly, considering their offensive output, both of these teams have trended toward the OVER recently. The OVER is 6-1-1 in Tampa Bay’s last eight games and 5-2 in Denver’s last seven.
On paper, this one looks like it should be a shootout. Denver’s superior defense and home-field advantage should give them the edge on the moneyline.
But considering all five of Tampa Bay’s losses have come by a touchdown or less and the Buccaneers are so strong against the spread, we like their chances to keep it close right down to the wire.
PICK: Tampa Bay +8 (courtesy of PickShark.com)