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The Buffalo Bills go for their eighth win of the season Sunday as they host a Denver Broncos team recovering from a blown 20-0 lead to Minnesota. It'll be a battle of the Allens as Broncos quarterback Brandon Allen makes his third start, while Josh Allen hopes to improve on a stellar outing against Miami. The former Allen impressed against a strong Vikings defense but ultimately came up exactly four yards short of delivering Denver a dramatic win. Meanwhile, Josh Allen and the Bills found the scoreboard on seven different scoring drives en route to their highest point total of the season.
Buffalo is now 3-0 coming off of losses but would like to halt that trend from recurring anytime soon. The Bills have an awfully tough schedule ahead but for now, their focus is squarely on Denver. Buffalo will be hard-pressed to top its 424 yards of offense it tallied against the Dolphins. As for the Broncos, a new week offers a fresh start of challenges but it'll be hard to soon forget their second-half collapse against Minnesota. Denver head coach Vic Fangio indicated Monday that Brandon Allen will again start this weekend and that rookie Drew Lock likely needs at least one more week of rest.
Broncos look to turn corner, earn second road winThe Denver Broncos 2019 season has been one of the missed opportunities. Three losses have come by two points, another by eight and then there's this past weekend's gut-wrenching four-point defeat to Minnesota. After outplaying the Vikings in every facet for three quarters, Denver allowed 20 unanswered fourth-quarter points. Now comes the hard part of Broncos players forcing that second half out of their headspace.
Quarterback Brandon Allen played well for most of the afternoon and should be able to hold down the fort for at least another week or two. Denver's offense is banged up at other positions besides quarterback. Three offensive line members missed practice Wednesday, while offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James is still listed as questionable. It's a miracle Allen has taken only five sacks in his first two games. Fullback Andy Janovich is out for the season with an elbow injury he suffered against Minnesota. Leading rusher Phillip Lindsay was also limited in Wednesday's practice.
"To get [@tpstreets] back and for him to go into Minnesota and do what he did, we all expected it and continue to expect it for the rest of the season.”— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) November 21, 2019
📰 » https://t.co/kh2X5h0nyq pic.twitter.com/QpQ9axNPf2
Denver's defense gives up the fourth-fewest yards in the NFL (310.8) and ranks eighth in scoring defense (19.7). Despite those lofty numbers, it's clear that the unit is starting to lose the war of attrition. The Broncos couldn't come up with key third-down stops in the second of the Vikings loss, in which they gave up four consecutive touchdown drives. Denver's depth at linebacker may be weaker than usual as Joe Jones and Justin Hollins both missed practice Wednesday.
Bills go for eighth winThe Buffalo Bills did what they had to do at Miami over the weekend: score enough points to avoid suffering an embarrassing loss. Quarterback Josh Allen delivered one of his most productive games (256 yards passing, four touchdowns, another 56 yards rushing) and was rewarded with AFC Offensive Player of the Week. He and the Bills offense face a much tougher test against a pretty consistent Broncos defensive unit.
Buffalo's biggest concern heading into the matchup Sunday is how it'll get around the absence of offensive lineman Ty Nsekhe, who is expected to miss at least a week or two with a right ankle injury he suffered against Miami. The Bills will likely go with Cody Ford, a 2019 second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma, at right tackle according to ESPN. Nsekhe's absence could adversely affect Buffalo's ground game. Rookie back Devin Singletary seems to have surpassed Frank Gore as the Bills' top rushing option.
The Buffalo defense ranks third in the NFL with 17 points allowed per game and have allowed more than 21 points just once in a 31-13 loss to Philadelphia. The Bills should be able to hold Denver to their season average in points if not below that. The group is mostly healthy, though defensive end Jerry Hughes and safety Siran Neal both missed practice Wednesday.
- Bills are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games in November.
- Bills are 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine games vs. AFC.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on covers.com, are:
- Broncos are 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games in Week 12.
- Broncos are 0-6 ATS in their last six games on turf.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Buffalo Bills seem to be clicking on both offense and defense right now. Quarterback Josh Allen is coming off a highly efficient performance against Miami and running back Devin Singletary is averaging over 70.6 yards on the ground over the last three games. As long as the Bills can continue to score the ball effectively against Denver, the defense should be able to do the rest of the work. The Broncos, after all, are playing with a backup quarterback and their top running back is well under 100%. The majority of the Denver starting offensive line missed practice Wednesday, too.
Prediction: Buffalo Bills -4
Full-Game Total Pick
Denver and Buffalo are two teams that tend to go under, and Vegas is finally catching on by setting an extraordinarily low line. I'm not quite jumping at their bait. The dueling Allens at quarterback Sunday are effective pocket passers who should put their teams in scoring position regularly. Don't try to overthink this one too much. Yes, Buffalo has played in a couple of games that have gone under 35 but those were either on the road (Tennessee), against a terrific defense (New England) or against a dismal offense (Washington). Denver should provide a solid contest and drive this one over.
Prediction: Over 36.5