NFL Picks Week 15: Broncos Regain Super Bowl Favorite Spot

Frank Doyle | Updated Dec 12, 2013

Peyton Manning Denver Broncos Super Bowl Favorites

Well, that didn’t take long.

Less than a week after the Seattle Seahawks bumped the Denver Broncos from the top spot of the NFL Super Bowl odds board, Peyton Manning and the Broncos are again leading the pack at +236. Seattle sits at +291 after topping out at +267 last week, just ahead of Denver at +268.

That might be the last major shift we see at the top of the Super Bowl odds board for a while after Manning and the Broncos put on a clinic in a 51-28 blowout of the Tennessee Titans last week. While the score was impressive enough itself considering Denver went into the half trailing 21-20, the fact that the Broncos came back while the temperature dipped below zero might be a bigger factor.

“I think the better he [Manning] continues to play in the cold, I think the less chatter there will be about that,” Denver coach John Fox said Monday. “I was asked about that before and after. I’m just really glad he’s on our side. I don’t care about the weather.”

Bettors are starting to come around to Fox’s side now too. It was the kind of win that made a lot of Broncos critics believe this squad won’t shrink if it makes it to Super Bowl XLVIII in New York. Sure it’ll be cold – we actually have +5500 piñata odds posted on the Super Bowl’s game-time temperature – but last Sunday’s win was worth its weight in gold among futures bettors.

Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings (+5, 51)

Whether Adrian Peterson plays or not is obviously the big catch with this one. Logic says that there’s no way he should be on the field for this one when the Vikings have virtually nothing to play for, but you never know with the Vikings. The Eagles are a good road team that has won five straight while covering the number four times over that span. Their defence has been a lot better than it’s getting credit for too. Since giving up 52 points to Denver at the end of September, Philly hasn’t allowed a team to score more than 21 points.

Pick: Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+5, 41)

It’s been a nice run for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reeling off four wins in their last five games, but that ends here against an elite San Francisco team. The 49ers haven’t played up to their potential this season. The offence has sputtered at times and they’re coming off a very tough 19-17 win over Seattle, so you have to be a little concerned about a letdown spot. Still, there’s no way the Buccaneers can get it done this week with Mike Glennon leading this passing attack. He has completed just 37 passes over the last three games and without that threat through the air, the 49ers will clamp down on Tampa’s running game.

Pick: San Francisco 49ers

New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (-11, 40.5)

There’s not need to overanalyze this one. The Panthers are coming off a disappointing loss at New Orleans and have played under the total in six straight games. The New York Jets own the No. 2 rushing defence and faces a team that loves to run the ball. Plus, Geno Smith is apparently still the quarterback of the Jets.

Pick: Under 40.5

Last week: 1-2