NFL Odds: Broncos have tough task

By: Jimmy Sirody | Thursday, September 23, 2010
kyle orton

The Denver Broncos are just 9-21-1 ATS at Invesco Field in thier last 31 chances.

This has been a very difficult week for the Denver Broncos as they prepare for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts at Invesco Field. The Broncos have been coping with the shock of receiver Kenny McKinley's apparent suicide.

Making things even more difficult for coach Josh McDaniels is the fact his team will be without its No. 1 guy to pressure Peyton Manning and possibly it's best cover guys to defend Reggie Wayne.

The Broncos have to slow down Manning, who has passed for 688 yards and six touchdowns so far this season. It will be much tougher if starting corners Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman are unable to play because of injuries.

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Bailey, a nine-time Pro Bowler, was on crutches after last Sunday's 31-14 win over Seattle due to a foot problem, while Goodman's status in uncertain as he deals with a thigh injury. The Broncos could be playing a nickel cornerback on Wayne because of those injuries, which just isn't fair.

Denver picked off three Manning passes during the most recent meeting last Dec. 13. However, he threw for four touchdowns in the 28-16 victory and has totaled 19 touchdown passes in his last five games against the Broncos (all victories), including two in the playoffs.

Denver will get a boost with the return of the entire right side of its offensive line. Both right guard Chris Kuper (ankle, knee) and right tackle Ryan Harris (ankle) practiced this week, and barring any issues, are on track to play.

The timing couldn't be better considering the Broncos rushed 63 times for just 154 yards (a 2.4 average) and didn't have a single ground gain longer than 17 yards while splitting their first two games.

Denver quarterback Kyle Orton has a 103.9 passer rating, but has been sacked four times while operating behind a young offensive line.

After yielding 257 yards rushing in its season opening loss to Houston, the Indianapolis defense limited the New York Giants to 120 yards on 25 total carries. That improvement in the run defense must continue. The Colts have a history of allowing Denver to run the betting football with some effectiveness.

Indianapolis and Denver have played each other in seven of the past nine regular seasons, with the Colts winning five. One of their losses was in a game where Manning only played one series, throwing two passes.

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Indianapolis has cashed six of its last seven as favorites of between 3 ½ and 10-points and six of seven as road ‘chalk' overall.

The Broncos have ‘covered' at a 9-3-1 clip as home short-enders, but they are just 9-21-1 ATS at Invesco Field in their last 31 chances.

Denver has topped the ‘total' in its last seven trips to the post. However, the Broncos have strayed ‘under' at a 5-0-1 rate as home dogs and in 11 of 15 in the Mile High City overall.

The Colts have jumped the number in six of their past seven versus conference competition.

Most offshore books opened Indianapolis as a 5 ½-point favorite, with the ‘total' set at 48 ½.


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