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December 19, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: Patriots at Broncos

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Jack Dempsey / Associated Press

Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker catches a pass for a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers in the second quarter of an NFL playoff game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Denver.

Right after getting the Play of the Day feature up and running, football abandons us.

The thought of glancing at the South Point betting board, the official lines provider of the contest, without the presence of football feels like cruel punishment. That’s an unpleasantry the following road team should know plenty about by Sunday evening.

Denver Broncos minus-5 vs. New England Patriots: $330 to win $300

Last weekend’s AFC divisional playoffs served a double helping of misleading final scores.

The Patriots were the first course, as Saturday’s game against the Colts felt exceptionally even-matched for the opening 47 minutes. Indianapolis trailed by a touchdown, but had moved the ball much more efficiently than New England.

The Patriots benefited from a couple of careless turnovers, but had otherwise given up an alarming 6.8 yards per play. They broke the game open in the fourth quarter with a 73-yard touchdown run from LeGarrette Blount and another interception off of Andrew Luck, erasing memories of the average offensive and mediocre defensive performances that dogged 78 percent of the game.

The Broncos were the pepper to the Patriots’ salt a day later. They played in the opposite fashion.

Denver was up 17-0 on San Diego with 13 minutes to go, but it felt more like 37-0. The Chargers had a fluky interception in the end zone and were also gifted with a basket of Broncos, miscues including a dropped touchdown and a missed field goal.

San Diego was totally harmless on offense until the fourth quarter, when the Chargers mounted a comeback attempt that was fruitless to everyone except gamblers. The Chargers managed to cover the 9-point spread in a 24-17 loss to supply the worst beat of the postseason to Broncos bettors.

The overall more impressive team out of New England and Denver last weekend was the same one it’s been for the majority of the season, making anything less than minus-6 more than a reasonable asking price.

Standings: Bern (2-2, $9,830), Brewer (1-2-1, $9,290), Keefer (1-3, $9,175)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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