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Window into the Weekend: Week 15
3:27 | The MMQB
Window into the Weekend: Week 15
Thursday December 11th, 2014

The New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos are currently the top two seeds in the AFC playoff race, and both teams can clinch their respective divisions with wins on Sunday.

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The AFC East-leading Patriots (10-3) host the Miami Dolphins (7-6) as 7.5-point favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, while the AFC West-leading Broncos (10-3) visit the San Diego Chargers (8-5) as four-point chalk in two key divisional matchups that bettors will need to watch as the regular season winds down. New England and Denver are chasing the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the AFC, with the Patriots currently holding the edge based on their 43-21 rout of the Broncos back in Week 9 as three-point home underdogs.

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New England is coming off a 23-14 victory against the San Diego Chargers last Sunday night and covered the spread as a four-point favorite at the sportsbooks. The Patriots turned in an outstanding defensive effort after trailing the Chargers 14-3 early in the second quarter. New England cornerback Darrelle Revis held San Diego wide receiver Keenan Allen to just two catches for three yards to lead the team’s defense, which also sacked quarterback Philip Rivers four times and picked him off once en route to the victory. The Patriots will be looking to avenge a 33-20 loss to the Dolphins in their season opener as 3.5-point road favorites, and they have not been swept by an AFC East opponent since 2000 when Miami beat them twice.

Meanwhile, Denver has won 11 straight divisional road games heading into their AFC West matchup with San Diego, going 10-1 against the spread. The Broncos beat the Buffalo Bills 24-17 at home last week, with the closing NFL betting lines showing them as 9-point favorites. Despite also winning three in a row overall, Denver has failed to cover the spread in three of its past four and could be ripe for an upset on Sunday. However, the Chargers have been mired in an even bigger slump vs. the line, going 1-8 ATS in their last nine after covering their first five.

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Other divisional games of note on Sunday afternoon include the Oakland Raiders (2-11) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-6), Houston Texans (7-6) at Indianapolis Colts (9-4), Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1) at Cleveland Browns (7-6), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-11) at Carolina Panthers (4-8-1), Washington Redskins (3-10) at New York Giants (4-9), Minnesota Vikings (6-7) at Detroit Lions (9-4) and San Francisco 49ers (7-6) at Seattle Seahawks (9-4). The home teams are favored in all of those matchups except for the Bengals-Browns game, which is listed as a pick ’em on the Week 15 NFL odds.

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