Not only are the Denver Broncos 23-2 straight up in their last 25 home games, they're also 17-8 against the spread during that run, a neat feat considering they're favored by so much so often at home. Denver is chalked at home again for Sunday's inter-conference meeting with Adrian Peterson and Minnesota.
Point spread: Broncos opened as 4.5-point favorites; the total was 44 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 19.6-16.0 Broncos
Why the Vikings can cover the spread
The Vikings are 2-1 both SU and ATS this season after slamming San Diego last week 31-14, covering as three-point home favorites. Minnesota scored the first 10 points of the game and led 31-7 after linebacker Chad Greenway returned an interception 91 yards for a score early in the fourth quarter. On the day, the Vikings out-rushed the Chargers 163-90, as Peterson posted his second straight 100-yard effort and scored two touchdowns, his first since returning from that season-long absence.
Two weeks ago, Minnesota defeated Detroit 26-16, out-rushing the Lions 199-38, covering the three points. So it looks like the Vikings have recovered from that dismal performance against San Francisco back in Week 1.
If Peterson can come up with another 100-yard effort, and if quarterback Teddy Bridgewater can move the chains with some third-down throws, and if the Minnesota defense can pressure Peyton Manning, and perhaps come up with a pick or two, the Vikings could keep this interesting.
Why the Broncos can cover the spread
The Broncos are 3-0 both SU and ATS this season, after downing Detroit at Ford Field Sunday night 24-12. Denver picked up a key score on a Manning-to-Demaryius Thomas alley-oop just before halftime, then iced the game and the cover as a field-goal favorite when Manning let Owen Daniels go up and get one in the end zone with just over two minutes to go.
On the night, the Broncos ran for only 41 yards on 19 carries, but the Denver defense held the Lions to 28 yards on the ground, sacked Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford four times and forced three Lions turnovers.
Manning picked apart the Detroit defense from the pistol, and if he can get some help from the running game, and if the defense can hold Peterson in check, Denver will be in good shape Sunday.
Denver isn't quite the machine it was a season or two ago, but Manning at 75 percent is still better than Bridgewater at 100. The smart money here rides the Broncos.
The Vikings are 6-0 SU and ATS in their last six games before the bye.
The total has gone over in the Broncos’ last eight games in October.
The Broncos are 5-0 SU and ATS in their last five games in October.