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Patriots vs. Broncos Player Prop Picks
The Denver Broncos (7-5) host the New England Patriots (3-11) on Christmas Eve (12/24/23) this weekend. The Broncos are the betting favorites at -6.5 against the spread, while the over/under is set very low at 34.5 total points.
This article analyzes the betting odds for player prop bets in this game and recommends the best Patriots vs. Broncos player prop bets.
Russell Wilson over 207.5 passing yards (+100 at Caesars)
This pick is contingent on the weather. As of this writing, there is a better than 50% chance of rain for this game, which would depress all the offensive numbers, especially the passing numbers. While it’s possible Russell Wilson could surpass this number in a rain game, we wouldn’t bet on it. However, there is still a good enough chance that the weather is not a big factor, or that Wilson could overcome that, which makes this bet appealing at a very deflated number.
Under normal conditions, this would be a smash play for Wilson against the Patriots’ defense, which is excellent against the run but weak against the pass. New England is 1st in DVOA, EPA and success rate against the run, and they are allowing the second-fewest rushing yards per game (84.9) and the lowest yards per carry (3.1). However, they are in the bottom 12 in DVOA, EPA and success rate against the pass, and they are allowing 223.4 passing yards per game (17th).
The Broncos are going to need Wilson to air it out in this game. He has quietly had a solid season, especially over his last six games, when he is 8th in passing TDs, 12th in passer rating and 6th in completion percentage over expected (CPOE). While he has not racked up the yards like he did earlier in his career, he has gone over this number in three of his last five games.
Although the weather makes this a risky pick, it’s possible given the matchup that the Broncos will need to throw the ball to win this game given the poor conditions. And if that’s the case, Wilson still has a good chance to hit the over on 207.5 yards, with solid value at even money. It’s likely this number will go up if the weather forecast improves, so it’s worth monitoring both the weather and the odds before placing any bets.
Courtland Sutton over 49.5 receiving yards (-115 at Caesars)
Let’s pair our Russell Wilson pick with his favorite pass catcher, Courtland Sutton. The Broncos’ leading wide receiver has gained over 50 receiving yards in six straight games and he is averaging 65 yards per game over that span. That number is trending up as he is averaging exactly 55 yards per game on the season.
As noted above, the Patriots are a pass funnel defense that will force Wilson and the Broncos’ offense to throw the ball. When Wilson throws the ball, he is most often looking in Sutton’s direction. Perimeter wide receivers have been successful against the Patriots recently. Since week 9, New England has allowed the 10th-most receiving yards per game to receivers lined up wide (as opposed to slot receivers).
Sutton also has a big size advantage against the Patriots’ secondary. He has a massive 6-4 frame and the Patriots’ biggest cornerback is J.C. Jackson, who is 6-1 and has struggled mightily this season. The rest of their corners are all under 6-feet tall, which means Sutton will have a significant advantage on jump-ball situations, which is one of his specialties.
Aside from the potential rain impact, every aspect of this matchup sets up for Sutton to have a very solid game and easily gain at least 50 receiving yards.
Hunter Henry over 36.5 receiving yards (-135)
As of this writing, this bet is off the table at all the major sportsbooks and is only available at the Underdog Fantasy app. Assuming the sportsbooks set a similar line once they release their odds, which is usually the case, we love the over at this number.
The Broncos are one of the worst defenses in the league at defending tight ends. Heading into Week 16, they are allowing the 2nd most yards (68.4) and the 3rd most receptions (6.07) per game to the position. There have only been three games this season in which an opposing tight end failed to gain at least 37 receiving yards against the Broncos, and all three occurred in the first seven weeks of the season.
Hunter Henry has been the Patriots’ most reliable pass catcher all season and has quickly developed a rapport with QB Bailey Zappe. He is averaging just over 40 yards per game over his last three games with Zappe under center, including back-to-back games with 40+ yards. He received a team- and season-high nine targets from Zappe last week against the Chiefs and caught seven of them for 66 yards.
We also like this pick as a weather-neutral player prop bet. Given Henry’s role as a short-yardage and over-the-middle target, he will be more likely than other pass-catching options to continue receiving targets from Zappe if the weather is bad. The Patriots are nearly a touchdown underdog and are likely to be playing from behind, so Henry should have no shortage of opportunities to gain at least 37 receiving yards.