Patriots over a touchdown favorite at Denver for Sunday night matchup

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Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, on top of facing the best defense they have seen all season, also carry some inauspicious trends into Denver.

The Patriots are listed as 7.5-point road favorites against the Broncos with a 44-point total for the NFL Week 10 Sunday night matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

New England is on a four-game win streak, but the OddsShark NFL Database shows it is 9-1 straight-up and 4-6 against the spread in its last 10 road games as a favorite of 7.5 or more points. The Patriots are coming out of their bye week but are 2-4 ATS in their last six regular-season games after a bye. The Broncos are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games in November.

New England, which is 6-2 SU and 4-4 ATS this season, will not have some crucial members of Brady’s supporting cast alongside as it challenges the NFL’s No. 2-ranked defense. Wide receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder) is out and so is RT Marcus Cannon. That could affect whether the Patriots, who lost to the Carolina Panthers in their only other game against a top-10 defense, can burn CBs Chris Harris, Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby.

Brady will likely have to count on RB James White and WR Brandin Cooks as outside receiving threats, while TE Rob Gronkowski should be his usual lethal self over the middle.

The Patriots’ pass protection has improved from the start of the season, but it will have to contend with OLB Von Miller. The New England running game, with White and Dion Lewis, ranks in the bottom third of the league while Denver allows the second-fewest yards per rush attempt.

Denver, 3-5 SU and 2-5-1 ATS, is on a four-game losing skid, but the three most recent were away games; they are 11-3 SU in their last 14 home games after consecutive road games. An outright win probably seems like a tall task given the struggles of Denver’s offense, which has turned to QB Brock Osweiler

One reason to think the group’s output will improve – beyond the belief that it would be hard to get worse – is that WR Emmanuel Sanders is healthy and could exploit struggling Patriots CB Johnson Bademosi.

The Patriots linebacker corps, led by OLB Kyle Van Noy, have had issues containing the run and covering running backs in the passing phase. Denver appears to have its running back trio of C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and Jamaal Charles all healthy, and they could help with putting together long drives that keep Brady off the field and prevent the Patriots from engineering a blowout.

The total has gone under in eight of the Patriots’ last 10 road games when they were favored by at least 7.5 points. The total has gone under in five of the Patriots’ last six games on the road against teams with losing records. The total has gone under in nine of the Broncos’ last 12 games after a loss.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

NFL Preseason Odds: Eagles, Patriots among Week 1 betting favorites

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All streaks come to an end, and the Philadelphia Eagles take a lengthy one into their preseason opener against their cross-state counterpart.

The Eagles, with third-string Nate Sudfeld as the only healthy seasoned quarterback on the depth chart, are three-point favorites on the NFL preseason odds against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 33-point total for their exhibition matchup on Thursday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Eagles are 9-0 both straight-up and against the spread in their last nine preseason home games as they head into an opener where neither Carson Wentz (knee) or Nick Foles (neck) are expected to play. The Steelers, who will use QBs Landry Jones, Josh Dobbs and Mason Rudolph, are 4-8 SU and 5-7 ATS in their last 12 preseason road games.

Also Thursday, the New England Patriots are a three-point betting favorite against the Washington Redskins with a 37-point total. The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Redskins’ last 10 preseason road games. The Patriots are 4-6 ATS in their last 10 preseason home games as a favorite of three points or more.

The Cincinnati Bengals are two-point favorites against the Chicago Bears with a 35.5-point total. The total has gone UNDER in seven of Cincinnati’s last 10 preseason games as a home favorite.

The Miami Dolphins are a 1.5-point favorite against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a 34-point total. The Buccaneers are 7-2 ATS in their last nine preseason games against the Dolphins. The total has gone UNDER in 17 of the last 20 preseason games in this matchup.

The Cleveland Browns are a one-point road favorite against the New York Giants with a 35-point total. The total has gone UNDER in five of the Browns’ last seven preseason road games. The Giants are 4-8-1 ATS in their last 13 preseason home games.

The Green Bay Packers host the Tennessee Titans in a pick’em with a 34.5-point total. The Titans are 3-7 in their last 10 preseason road games. The Packers are 7-1 SU in their last eight preseason home games.

The San Francisco 49ers are a 3.5-point favorite against the Dallas Cowboys with a 35-point total. The Cowboys are 0-10 SU and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 preseason road games as an underdog of three points or more, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone UNDER in 10 of the 49ers’ last 12 preseason games as a favorite of three points or more.

The Oakland Raiders are a three-point favorite against the Detroit Lions with a 36-point total in a Friday matchup. The Lions are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 preseason road games. The Raiders are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 preseason games as a home favorite, with the total finishing OVER eight times.

The Denver Broncos host the Minnesota Vikings in a pick’em with a 34.5-point total in a Saturday contest. The Vikings are 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight preseason games. The total has gone UNDER in six of the Broncos’ last eight preseason home games.

And the Arizona Cardinals are a 2.5-point favorite against the Los Angeles Chargers with a 36-point total. The Chargers are 2-8 SU and 4-6 ATS in their last 10 preseason road games. The Cardinals are 3-6 SU and ATS in their last nine preseason games as a home favorite.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown says he’d never kneel during national anthem

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Jim Brown has spent much of his post-NFL career fighting for social justice and change.

However, the Hall of Fame running back says he would never kneel during the national anthem.

The 82-year-old Brown, who championed civil rights during his playing career and became an activist in retirement, said Tuesday night that he respects players’ rights to do what they want but his preference is they would stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“I’ll never kneel and I will always respect the flag,” said Brown, who spoke before an HBO premiere of “Hard Knocks,” which is chronicling the Cleveland Browns in training camp.

Brown was asked how he would resolve the anthem issue, which has shadowed the league for two years.

“Well, if you take the bottom line, what are we talking about? We’re talking about freedom to express one’s self, and if you don’t break any rules then you have that particular right,” he said.

“I am not going to denigrate my flag and I’m going to stand for the national anthem. I’m fighting with all of my strength to make it a better country, but I don’t think that’s the issue. Because what is the top side? Are you not going to stand up? This is our country, man.

“We work hard to make it better and that’s my attitude, so I don’t relate to this issue because it’s newsworthy because where are your superstars? And where are they at? Aren’t they making comments?”

Protests during the anthem have enveloped the league since former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest social injustice.

The NFL modified its anthem protocol in May, prohibiting demonstrations for 2018, but allowing players to remain in the locker room during the anthem.

The NFL Players Assn. filed a grievance, and the change has been tabled while the NFL and the union work on a resolution.