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Plenty To Cheer About in AFC West

Sunday saw Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos rout Eli Manning and the New York Giants.

Sunday saw Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos rout Eli Manning and the New York Giants.

The weakest division in football in 2012, fans got little to cheer about in the AFC West last season, outside of the Mile High City at least. This week there was plenty to get excited about as all four of the division’s representatives emerged from battle with a victory.

BettingSports.com gives you the rundown of the division’s four Week 2 matchups, taking a look at how each team faired against the Vegas lines, before giving you the briefest previews of what you can expect in Week 3.

Denver Broncos 41, New York Giants 23

Knowshon Moreno had a big day on the ground.

Knowshon Moreno had a big day on the ground.

The ‘Manning Bowl’ hyperbole that accompanied this showdown at MetLife Stadium may have been over the top and dare we say ridiculous, but the game itself certainly wasn’t a letdown.

The Denver Broncos and New York Giants played a tight game in the first half, with the former heading to the locker room with a 10-9 lead by way of a Knowshon Moreno 20-yard touchdown run early in the second period. For the second straight week, the Denver offense woke up in the second half.

Peyton Manning threw touchdown passes to Wes Welker and Julius Thomas while Moreno went into the endzone for a second time, this time from 25 yards. The fifth-year back tallied a total of 93 yards on just 13 carries in the game. The Broncos’ special teams unit got in on the action also, as Trindon Holliday returned Matt Prater’s punt 81 yards for a TD early in the fourth.

The Giants responded with a solitary Eli Manning touchdown pass to Da’Rel Scott with 3:59 left on the clock, but that was too little too late as the Broncos surged to victory. The Giants remain winless on the season.

Vegas Impact: For the second straight week, the Broncos (2-0-0 ATS) covered the spread and saw the total go over. The margin of victory in this one, coupled with the San Francisco 49ers losing to the Seattle Seahawks, means that the Broncos will top the NFL futures lists when released later today.

Next: The Broncos (2-0, 1-0 home) will host the Oakland Raiders (1-1, 0-1 road) on Monday Night Football in Week 3. The Raiders do not have the defensive capabilities to keep the Broncos off the scoreboard, especially in the Mile High City, so barring extreme weather conditions, there’s little reason to think Denver cannot cover the (lofty) spread and the over in this one.

Opening Odds – Favorite: Denver Spread: 14.5 Over/Under: 49.5 (matchup)

Dallas Cowboys 16, Kansas City Chiefs 17

The Chiefs got the better of the Cowboys ... just.

The Chiefs got the better of the Cowboys … just.

It’s still too early to proclaim the Kansas City Chiefs are back, but a 2-0 record to open the season is something fans in the City of Fountains are more than welcome to brag about.

After Alex Smith threw a pair of touchdowns, the Chiefs managed to hang on for a 17-16 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, although some questionable clock management meant that fans had to wait until the dying seconds to be able to celebrate. Had Cowboys defensive back Morris Claiborne not been called for pass interference late in the game to give the Chiefs a new set of downs, Dallas may have had the time to put together a winning drive. Still, a win is a win, and the Chiefs now have two of them.

Vegas Impact: Despite winning the game straight up, Kansas City (1-1-0 ATS) failed to cover the spread, which opened at 1.5 before shifting to 3 ahead of kickoff. For the second straight game, the Chiefs saw the total go under.

Next: The Chiefs (2-0, 1-0 road) are back on the road next week, this time heading to head coach Andy Reid’s old stamping ground for a showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles (1-1, 0-1 home) on Thursday night.

Opening Odds – Favorite: Philadelphia Spread: 3 Over/Under: 49.5 (matchup)

San Diego Chargers 33, Philadelphia Eagles 30

Phillip Rivers threw for more than 400 yards.

Phillip Rivers threw for more than 400 yards.

Having suffered the torment of defeat last week after giving up a 21-point lead against the Houston Texans, the San Diego Chargers bounced back in Week 2, handing the Eagles a 33-30 defeat.

After the Eagles’ new offense caused a stir last week, it was the Chargers that looked like an offensive juggernaut in this one. Philip Rivers completed 36 of 47 passes for 419 yards and connected on three touchdowns.

The Chargers blew a 20-10 lead early in the third, allowing the Eagles to build a 27-23 lead, before Eddie Royal caught a 15-yard touchdown to give the Chargers a 30-27 edge. The Eagles kicked a field goal with 1:51 left to tie the game but Rivers led his team 51 yards up the field before Nick Novak kicked the game-winner with just seven seconds left on the clock.

Vegas Impact: With the upset win, the Chargers (2-0-0 ATS) covered the spread for a second straight win. The Eagles had been favored by a touchdown when lines opened last week. As in Week 1, the Chargers watched the total go over.

Next: The Chargers (1-1, 1-0 road) face the Tennessee Titans (1-1, 1-0 home) this Sunday (1:00 p.m.) in Nashville. The Titans came close to upsetting the Texans on Sunday afternoon having already dispatched the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. Like San Diego, the Titans (2-0-0 ATS) have covered the spread in both games this season.

Opening Odds – Favorite: Tennessee Spread: 3 Over/Under: 48.5 (matchup)

Jacksonville Jaguars 9, Oakland Raiders 19

The Raiders crushed the Jaguars.

The Raiders crushed the Jaguars.

Having given the Indianapolis Colts a fright in Week 1, the Oakland Raiders continued to defy critics in Week 2, this time picking up a first win of the season.

Hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars, the only team expected to finish worse off than the Raiders this season, Oakland took an early lead on Marcel Reece’s 11-yard scoring run, and never looked back. Terrelle Pryor completed 15 of 24 passes for just 126 yards and no touchdowns, but crucially he didn’t throw an interception. He did however run for 50 yards.

It was Darren McFadden that carried the Raiders though, tallying 129 yards on 29 carries, while Sebastian Janikowski booted four field goals. The silver and black defense held its ground, limited the Jaguars to one field goal and one (late) touchdown, enough to secure the team’s first win of the year.

Vegas Impact: Oakland (2-0-0 ATS) covered the spread – which opened at 4 and grew to 5.5 – for the second time this season. As in Week 1, the Raiders saw the total go under, something that’s unlikely next week.

Next: Oakland visits Denver on Monday night. The Raiders will be looking to put the halters on a three-game losing streak against the Broncos.

Opening Odds – Favorite: Denver Spread: 14.5 Over/Under: 49.5 (matchup)


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