The marquee matchup in Week 12 between the Broncos and the Patriots is sure to be a ratings bonanza and a possible preview of the AFC title game. You've got Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady and the 9-1 Broncos vs. the 7-2 Patriots in a battle to acquire home-field advantage for the playoffs.
And the ones who set the gambling lines are liking the Broncos, even though they're traveling to New England. That doesn't happen often for the Patriots when they play at home. Like, once a decade (unlike what happens with the Rams).
As R.J. Bell from Pregame.com explains.
The Patriots also are 2.5-point underdogs in their Week 11 Monday night matchup against the Panthers, but that game will be played in Carolina.
The last time they were not favored for a home game was Nov. 7, 2005 when the Patriots played (guess who?) Manning and the Colts. Indianapolis was a three-point road favorite on that day, and the Colts easily covered, winning 40-21. Before that game, the previous time the Patriots were an underdog at home occurred Dec. 29, 2002 vs. the Dolphins.
"There have been 708 home underdogs in the NFL since [the] Patriots were last a home dog in 2005," writes Bell.
The team with second-fewest number of home underdog games since then is the Steelers with six.
And here's another amazing stat: Since that 2005 Colts game, the Patriots have only been road underdogs 15 times, and in those contests, the Patriots didn't cover the spread just three times.
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