The New England Patriots return from a bye week gunning for a fifth straight victory as they take on the Denver Broncos in a “Sunday Night Football” matchup as 7.5-point road favorites on the NFL odds at sportsbooks monitored by

New England entered its Week 9 bye after topping the Los Angeles Chargers 21-13 as 6.5-point home chalk, improving its straight-up record to 6-2 and claiming sole possession of first place in the AFC East standings ahead of Sunday night’s Patriots vs. Broncos betting matchup at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

While the Patriots are ranked fifth in the NFL with 27.0 points scored per game, it has been the club’s defense that has made the difference during their 4-0 SU run, holding opponents to just 12.75 points per game and powering a 4-0 run for the UNDER in totals betting.

However, New England has been an uneven bet during the first half of the NFL campaign, going 4-4 against the spread, and failed to cover in its last road date, a 24-17 win over the New York Jets as 9-point favorites. The Patriots are unbeaten SU in their past six when pegged as road chalk by a touchdown or more, but have covered just once in their past three, and are 5-9-1 ATS over their past 15, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Broncos return home to face New England riding a four-game SU and ATS slide that has dumped them to 3-5 on the season, and into last place in the AFC West standings.

Quarterback Brock Osweiler is expected to get a second straight start despite throwing a pair of interceptions in last week’s lopsided 51-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles as 7-point road underdogs. Osweiler also tossed three picks while under center for Houston in the Texans’ 34-16 loss to New England as 16.5-point underdogs in last season’s AFC Divisional Playoffs.

However, a toothless offense has plagued the Broncos since early in the campaign, averaging 14 points per game over the club’s past six games, and scoring just 26 total points in Denver’s past two home dates. Not surprisingly, the Broncos have slid on the Super Bowl odds, tumbling to +10000 after opening the season at a competitive +2800.

Broncos fans will cling to the club’s recent success against New England. Denver dropped a 16-3 decision as 3-point home underdogs in the Patriots’ last visit in December of last year, but otherwise has had the upper hand in clashes with New England at Mile High, recording SU and ATS wins in six of its previous eight home dates with the Patriots.

Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images