Denver has already clinched the AFC West but is looking to earn a first-round bye, as it's currently tied with the New England Patriots (10-3), with the Pats owning the tie breaker from a Week 5 win over the Broncos.
Let's get into it.
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, M.D.
When: Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Game Rewind
Spread: Ravens (+2.5) via Bet Online
I have to go with Manning and the Broncos on Sunday.
Having won eight games in a row, Denver enters M&T Bank Stadium as one of the hottest teams in the NFL and an obvious favorite in my mind.
With Denver's offense rolling and the Ravens defense struggling, I think the Broncos take this one on the road.
Do you like the over or the under?
Over/Under: 48 (Bet Online)
Betting trends this season say to take the over.
According to Bovada, the spread has gone over in seven of Denver's last 10 road games and five out of the Ravens' last six home games.
Both of these teams are averaging at least 25 PPG, and I think that trend continues on Sunday afternoon.
I'm going with the over.
Key Injuries (via USA Today)
WR Demaryius Thomas—Shoulder—PRB
LB Ray Lewis—Tricep—QST
LB Terrell Suggs—Bicep—QST
RB Ray Rice—Hip—PRB
FB Vonta Leach—Ankle—QST
WR Jacoby Jones—Ankle—PRB
DE Pernell McPhee—Thigh—QST
Fantasy Big Plays
Broncos: Demaryius Thomas
Thomas has clearly established himself as Manning's No. 1 option, as evident by the fact that he ranks No. 5 in the NFL in receiving yards.
Boasting five 100-yard receiving games and eight touchdowns this season, Thomas should be a fantasy stud against a Ravens defense that's 23rd against the pass.
Having already surpassed the 1,000-yard mark this season and scored four touchdowns in his past four games, Thomas is your man on Sunday.
Ravens: Anquan Boldin
Boldin was the man against the Washington Redskins, gaining 78 yards and two touchdowns in the overtime loss.
He's the leading receiver on the Ravens, having caught more passes for more yards than teammate Torrey Smith while being targeted the most by Flacco.
Denver hasn't given up many yards through the air (No. 7 in the NFL), but they have allowed 22 aerial touchdowns, which is why Boldin is a solid start in Week 15.
Key to Broncos Win: Pound It on the Ground
Baltimore's defense has allowed a mere 12 touchdowns in the passing game, but they have struggled against the rush.
They're allowing nearly 130 YPG and have given up 12 rushing touchdowns, which is why the Broncos need to utilize Knowshon Moreno to his fullest on Sunday.
Coming off of his best game of the season (119 yards and a touchdown), Moreno will be the key to a Broncos' win on Sunday.
Key to Ravens Win: Mistake-Free Game by Flacco
The Ravens don't want to get into a shootout with Manning and the Broncos, which is why Flacco needs to avoid turnovers and keep Denver's offense off the field.
Flacco has 18 TDs to just nine interceptions this season, but he has also fumbled six times, which can't happen against a defense that boasts Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, who have each forced six fumbles this season.
Having thrown just three interceptions in his past six games, Flacco needs to make smart decisions and keep his turnovers to a minimum for Baltimore to beat the Broncos.
Prediction: Broncos 31, Ravens 20
Manning and the Broncos will be too much for the Ravens' struggling offense.
I think Flacco makes some mistakes and it ultimately costs Baltimore, as they can't keep up with Denver's high-scoring offense.
Make it nine straight for the Broncos.
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