The extra week off has been great for New England with Cam Newton able to return to the team for this weekend’s game. Denver might also get quarterback Drew Lock back from his injury, but Lock won’t bring the same impact as Newton. The Patriots’ offense was horrendous without Newton, but with him under center, New England should be able to ease past the Broncos this week. Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots Betting Odds The good news for the Broncos is Drew Lock should return as the starting quarterback this week, but that won’t solve Denver’s offensive woes. Lock returns to face a top-5 defense in the Patriots’ unit without the type of weapons needed to attack New England. The Broncos already lost their top receiver, Courtland Sutton, for the season with an ACL tear and there really hasn’t been another receiver who has taken over that mantle full-time. Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick are good receivers, but neither is a top-tier receiver just yet. Meanwhile, the Broncos have struggled to run the ball all season, so there will be more pressure on Lock’s arm this week. Lock made a lot of good decisions in the 10 quarters he’s played this year, but he might not have the ammo to keep up with the Patriots. We saw a few weeks ago in Kansas City how lost the Patriots are without Cam Newton to run the offense, so his return is a godsend. Even with Newton at quarterback, the Patriots’ passing attack is not the juggernaut it was a few years ago, and that is an area the Broncos could exploit. However, Denver must also find an answer for slowing down Newton on the ground and how well he uses his size and athleticism to power the offense. Newton’s 35 rushes are still the most on the team, and he ranks second in rushing yards to Sony Michel. More importantly, though, Newton has scored four rushing touchdowns and thrown just two, so the Broncos need to find ways to force Newton to beat them with his arm. New England, though, will rely on its defense, which frustrated the Chiefs’ dynamic offense last time out. That unit faces an excellent matchup against a depleted Denver offense that should help earn Newton and the offense some short fields to work with Sunday. If you exclude the win over the Jets, the Broncos offense hasn’t produced many points this season. They have scored less than 17 points twice in three games and even if you include the win against New York, the Broncos are near the bottom of the league in yards per game. Now Denver has to face this New England defense, which is one of the best units in the NFL, so it’s unrealistic to think the Broncos will score a lot. Therefore, I’ll comfortably take the under 17 points for Denver at -110 odds. However, the Broncos have shown to be a tough defense as well, but not tough enough to keep the Patriots under the 27-point line. So I’ll take New England to score more than 27 points at -116 odds at the New Jersey online sports betting sites. Patriots to win With Newton back in the fold, the Patriots are 9.5-point favorites at the NFL betting sites in New Jersey. New England’s defense is the strength of this team and even with Lock back under center for Denver, it’ll be a tough task for the Broncos to score points. Newton brings a calming effect to the Patriots’ offense that has allowed them to score points relatively easily and that shouldn’t be an issue against Denver either. Add in the homefield advantage for the Patriots, and this has all the looks of a two-score game. So I’ll increase the spread to take New England laying the 13.5 points for +140 odds plus I’ll add the Patriots winning by more than 14 points at +125 odds.