NFL Week 13 odds: Tampa Bay at Denver

Peyton Manning’s will clinch the AFC West for the second year in a row with a victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday, while the Bucs need a win to keep pace in the NFC wild-card chase.

These are two of the hottest teams in the league. Denver has won six consecutive games – the longest active streak in the NFL – and Tampa Bay has won four of its past five. Since Week 6, Tampa Bay leads the NFC with 228 points (32.6 per game). During that period, quarterback Josh Freeman has 16 touchdowns, three interceptions with a 104.1 passer rating and rookie running back Doug Martin has 1,082 scrimmage yards (154.6 per game) and nine total touchdowns.

Denver outscored opponents 183-107 in its winning streak. Last week, Peyton Manning passed for 285 yards and two touchdowns to record his 149th career win, passing Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (148) for the second-most in NFL history.

Tampa Bay has the NFL’s best run defense (81.5 yards a game), but Tampa Bay has struggled to stop the pass all season, giving up an NFL-worst 315.5 yards a game. A four-game suspension for cornerback Eric Wright after his violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances won’t help.

Manning has been sacked or put under duress on 14.5 percent of his dropbacks this season, the lowest rate in the NFL. The Buccaneers defense has sacked or put opponents under duress at the lowest team rate this season (16.5 percent).

The Broncos defense has allowed a league-low eight completions on throws more than 20 yards downfield this season despite facing the eighth-most attempts. Tampa Bay’s Freeman has completed a league-best 22 passes of those distances, with a career-high completion percentage (42.3).

The Buccaneers need a strong ground game with a controlled passing attack that allows them to dominate time of possession and limit Manning’s opportunities to come up with big plays. The Bucs can’t afford to get into a high-scoring affair with the Broncos as they simply don’t have the dynamic players on offense that Denver has.

WAGERWEB.COM OPENING LINE: Broncos -8 (50) Check our current lines

BUCS NOTES: Have won 4 of past 5 … In past 7, QB Josh Freeman has 16 TDs vs. 3 INTs & 104.1 rating. Is 3-0 vs. AFC in 2012 with 7 TDs, 1 INT & 121.9 rating. Bucs are 11-3 when he has 100 rating … Rookie RB Doug Martin is 2nd in NFL with 1,382 scrimmage yards (1,050 rush, 332 rec.). Rushed for 2 TDs last week & leads NFC with 9 rush TDs. Has 522 scrimmage yards (395 rush, 127 rec.) & 4 TDs in 3 games vs. AFC … WR Vincent Jackson has 6 TDs in past 8. Since 2008, his 18.5 yards per catch avg. (248 rec., 4,578 yards) is best in NFL (min. 100 catches). Jackson (20.4) & WR Mike Williams (16.9) are 1st & 3rd in NFC in yards per catch (min. 30 catches). Williams had 28-yard pass last week to Jackson. TE Dallas Clark has TD in 2 of past 3. Has 5 TDs in past 3 vs. Den. WR Tiquan Underwood had career-high 5 catches & 77 yards last week … Rookie CB Leonard Johnson has INT in each of past 2 vs. AFC, incl. 83-yard INT-TD. S Ronde Barber had INT last week. Is only player in NFL annals with 25 sacks (28) & 40 INTs (47). DE Michael Bennett has sack in 3 of past 5. Rookie LB Lavonte David leads team with 98 tackles. Rookie S MARK BARRON has 62 tackles & 8 PD.

BRONCOS NOTES: QB Peyton Manning has 110.2 rating at home in ’12, best in AFC. In 2 career games vs. TB, Manning is 2-0 & has 102.2 rating … RB Knowshon Moreno had season-high 111 scrim. yards (85 rush, 26 rec.) last week … WR Demaryius Thomas has registered 100 rec. yards in 3 of 5 homes games in ’12 (110, 103, 137). Has 24 receptions for 350 yards with 2 TDs in 3 games vs. NFC this season. WR Eric Decker has 8 TD rec. in ’12, tied for career single-season high (8 in ’11)… Defense has NFL-best 37 sacks in ’12 … LB Von Miller had 8 sacks in Nov., surpassing Rulon Jones (7.5 in Oct. of 1986) for most sacks in calendar month by Bronco. Aims for 5th consec. game with sack. LB Wesley Woodyard has career-highs in sacks (4) & INTs (3) in ’12. DE Elvis Dumervil (8) needs 2 sacks to record at least 10 for 3rd time of career.

WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Buccaneers are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game. Buccaneers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 13. Buccaneers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in December. Broncos are 2-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Broncos are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game. Broncos are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in December. Broncos are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.

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