New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton returns to action after missing one game with a Covid 19 diagnosis. Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire.
- The New England Patriots, with Cam Newton expecting to be back in the lineup, are 8.5-point favorites at home Sunday (1 p.m. ET) against the Denver Broncos in Week 6
- Sunday Betting Record: 1-4-0, -3.10 Units
- See the game odds, spread and total as well as a preview below
Cam Newton is preparing to return from a Covid-19 diagnosis to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback, and Drew Lock (shoulder injury) is expected to be back as the Broncos’ starter, when the two meet on Sunday (October 18) of Week 6 at 1pm ET.
Both teams will benefit from the returns, but Newton should have the biggest impact. The game the Patriots played without Newton wasn’t pretty. Their offense looked shaky in a 26-10 loss to Kansas City.
By contrast, in Newton’s three starts, the Patriots have averaged 29 points per game. With Newton starting, the Patriots are 2-1 against the spread this season.
Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots Odds
|Denver Broncos||+360||+8.5 (-110)||O 44.5 (-111)|
|New England Patriots||-450||-8.5 (-111)||U 44.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Oct. 17 from DraftKings
Broncos Can Look Dangerous at Times
Patriots coach Bill Belichick enters this game with a healthy respect for a Broncos defense that has played reasonably well, considering all of the injuries they have endured.
Denver ranks 13th in rushing defense (109 yards per game), 14th in scoring defense (24.5 points per game), and 16th overall (365.3 yards per game).
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
Despite what the numbers say, the Patriots view the Broncos as a “top 10” defensive unit.
The Broncos, however, have been dreadful offensively, ranking 29th in overall offense (306.8 yards per game) and rushing (92.5 yards per game). They are 27th in passing yards. Lock’s return will help in that regard, and rookie Jerry Jeudy (15 catches, 234 yards) has continued to show he will be a difference-maker.
Most attempts by a QB with 0 INT this season:
Aaron Rodgers: 139
Drew Lock: 38
C.J. Beathard: 37 pic.twitter.com/06AZyUuJQO
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 12, 2020
Patriots Stay Mum on Newton’s Status
Newton has been cleared from the Covid-19 list. He’s taking part in meetings as if he is going to start against the Broncos. He participated in the Patriots’ one practice. The Broncos are preparing as if Newton will be the starter.
But the Patriots haven’t said officially that Newton will start. The Patriots’ failure to confirm may simply be out of Belichick’s cautious approach to the virus.
Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore returned to Patriots practice. pic.twitter.com/0oGdJQ49Jz
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) October 15, 2020
Newton’s father said he was asymptomatic, adding more fuel to the belief that Newton should be feeling well enough to start.
In three games for the Patriots, Newton owns an 89.7 quarterback rating. He has thrown for 714 yards and rushed for 149. He has thrown only two interceptions.
Broncos Will Receive Help on Injury Front
In addition to getting Lock back, the Broncos may also get tight end Noah Fant and running back Phillip Lindsay back on offense. A.J. Bouye could also return to the defense.
Linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, wide receiver KJ Hamler, and Melvin Gordon (illness) are the only Broncos players who have been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Gordon did not travel with the team to New England today.
Drew Lock fires at Broncos practice. Hopefully it’s not all for naught this week. pic.twitter.com/3n1U4JHrwk
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) October 16, 2020
In addition to Newton, the Patriots will receive cornerback Stephon Gilmore back from a positive Covid-19 test. But defensive lineman Adam Butler (shoulder), receiver Julian Edelman (knee), guard Shaq Mason (calf), and offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (calf) are questionable.
Edelman, with 18 catches for 294 yards, is essential to the Patriot’s offensive sharpness.
Newton and the Patriots Cover the Spread
Thanks to a stubborn defense, the Broncos are 3-1 against the spread this season. Newton has played two quality games this season and one (against the Raiders) in which he should have been sharper.
But Newton and the Patriots should be excited about getting back to business after Covid messiness. They have enough offensive weapons to cover this spread.
Pick: Patriots -8.5 (-111)
Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.