The Patriots suffered a loss to the Chiefs in Week 15, falling to 3-11 before a matchup with the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve.
Denver is 6-2 in its last eight games as the Broncos climbed back into the playoff race, though did get demolished 42-17 by the Lions this Sunday.
Opening odds give the Broncos an advantage, though oddsmakers expect it to be one of the lowest-scoring games of the season. Let's take a look:
Patriots vs. Broncos Week 16 Opening Odds
New England is a six-point underdog with +220 moneyline odds and an astonishingly-low total of 34.5, implying both offenses will struggle greatly.
The under is 4-2 in the Patriots' last six games but the over hit each of the last two weeks, while the over hit on Sunday for the Broncos as well but is 2-7 in Denver's previous nine contests.
Denver is 16th in the NFL in points per game (21.7), though the Patriots are last (13.3). Points may be hard to come by and it's hard to imagine some kind of shootout.
The Patriots have covered the spread just once in their last eight games. On the other hand, the Broncos are 3-1 ATS over their previous four at Mile High Stadium. New England could have a disappointing result, but at least with a loss would come an improved draft position for a franchise-changing talent.
Losing the game wouldn't be all that disappointing for Pats fans. It's kind of what they've come to expect this year, and stringing together a couple late-season wins to ruin the value of their first-round draft pick wouldn't exactly be an exciting way to end the season. But losing a complete snoozefest with fewer than 35 point scored between the two teams? Not exactly how anyone wants to spend their holidays.
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