Denver started off the season in a slump, but have turned things around as they aim for what looked like an unlikely playoff berth months ago. Detroit was red hot to begin the year, but suddenly have a lot of question marks after losing two of their last three. Things come to a head for both teams on Saturday night in the week 15 Broncos at Lions betting matchup.
The Broncos (7-6) are one of a handful of teams sporting that record in the AFC, sitting a game back of Cleveland in the wild card race. Denver has won six of their last seven and now get a Lions team that has fallen to the Packers and Bears in the last three weeks and haven’t looked all that solid in their three wins since week 10. Detroit is a -4.5 favorite in this spot, but taking the points looks mighty tempting here.
Why the Broncos Have Value at +4.5
This is not the same Denver team that started off the season 1-5 which included a 70-20 loss to the Dolphins. Instead the Broncos have scratched and clawed their way back into the playoff hunt going 6-1 since week 7 while their defense has rebooted and hasn’t allowed more than 22 points over that span.
It took Sean Payton a bit to get used to living life at a Mile High, but his team has wins over the Chiefs, at Buffalo, and against Cleveland on their turnaround. The Broncos’ only loss since October 12th was a 22-17 defeat at Houston where a Russell Wilson INT in the end zone with :09 left cost Denver the chance of having a 7-game win streak coming into the Detroit game.
The Denver offense rebounded nicely last Sunday with a 24-7 win over the Chargers, the fourth straight game they’ve won when scoring at least 21 points. That might not be too hard of a number to get to vs. a Lions defense that has allowed at least 26 points in five straight games.
Why the Lions Have Value at -4.5
The numbers say Detroit probably shouldn’t be a -4.5 favorite on Saturday night (8:15 PM ET, NFLN) considering they’ve lost two of three, have some major issues with their defense right now, and while Denver seems to be playing a lot better now that Payton has settled in on the sidelines.
The fact that Detroit is favored by that much makes you look for reasons to justify them as a minor contrarian play. Their two losses over the last three games have come against division rivals which are always a tough game – that includes on the road at Chicago and against Green Bay on Thanksgiving on a short week.
Denver will play their third straight road game on Saturday night as schedule makers are not being kind late in the season. Wilson threw 3 INTs in the loss to the Texans and has completed less than 60% of his passes in two of the last three. Broncos RB Javonte Williams hasn’t had more than 66 yards rushing in the last four games so it’s possible to make Denver very one-dimensional.
Free Week 15 Broncos at Lions Betting Pick
It’s possible that fatigue starts to set in on Denver as they play their third straight game on the road and on a slightly shorter week, but this Broncos defense is also very stingy right now. When you couple that with Detroit’s defense showing some concern over the past month that’s way too many points to be giving.
Free Pick: Broncos +4.5