Denver Broncos Betting Preview: Value on Under 8.5 Wins in 2021
NFL betting analyst Nick Galaida looks closer at the Denver Broncos ahead of the 2021 season. Find out what he thinks about their odds to win the AFC West, whether he likes over or under their current projected win total, and more in this 2021 Denver Broncos betting preview.
Now that the NBA has concluded its season, bettors have time to begin researching for upcoming NFL futures, including win totals, division winner odds, and more. One team that has made a lot of headlines this offseason is the Denver Broncos.
Let’s take a look at their roster and how Colorado sportsbooks are valuing this group heading into the fall slate of action.
Denver Broncos Betting Preview — Win Total, AFC West Odds, & Playoff Cances
Over/Under 8.5 Wins
Since losing Peyton Manning to retirement after the 2015 season, the Broncos have finished with a winning record only once–in 2016 with Trevor Siemian under center. Over the last four years, this franchise has won 5, 6, 7, and 5 games, respectively. After winning seven games in 2019, their five wins in 2020 were an unexpected step backward, even if injuries did significantly alter the roster at certain points. Their negative 123 point differential and negative 12 touchdown differential, on the surface, do not indicate that this team is poised for a rebound. Nearly 40 percent of the points that Denver scored a season ago came in the fourth quarter–suggesting that relaxed defense in blowouts made their end of year numbers look even better than they likely should have been.
Denver opens the new year on September 12th against the New York Giants, before facing the Jacksonville Jaguars and then the New York Jets–three winnable games at the front end of their schedule. However, beginning in Week 4, Denver’s only hope for stringing together any positive momentum appears to be a three-game stretch against the perpetually underperforming NFC East division, featuring games against the Washington Football Team, Dallas Cowboys, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Still, after being 5-11 in 2020 and having not experienced a winning record in nearly a half-decade, Denver should not be looking at any games on their schedule as automatic wins.
Outside of an improbable trade bringing Rodgers to the Mile High City, it seems naively optimistic to expect this roster to improve their record by four or more games compared to 2020. Under 8.5 victories is an opportunity that bettors should seize.
Division Odds to Win the AFC West (+600)
The Broncos unfortunately share a division with the Kansas City Chiefs, who have made it to back-to-back Super Bowls, winning in 2019 against the Los Angeles Rams, but losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. Denver also shares a division with the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year winner, Justin Herbert, who leads the Los Angeles Chargers. Herbert set rookie passing records in numerous categories and looks to be an emerging mega-star that could make life difficult for Broncos fans for the next 15 seasons. Suffice it to say, Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock–whoever ends up being the starting quarterback for Denver, is unlikely to help this team ascend to contender status.
A trade for Aaron Rodgers would certainly change the expectations surrounding this group, but it nevertheless seems probable that Denver is going to have one of the two worst starting quarterbacks in this division. Even at enticing plus-money odds, this is a wager that bettors should stay away from.
Broncos To Make the Playoffs (Yes: +155, No: -195)
Okay, so we have decided that the Broncos are unlikely to win nine games, and they are highly unlikely to win their extremely competitive division, but is there any hope for this team to make the postseason at 8-8 under the expanded playoff format?
While the quarterback situation is not ideal, the rest of this roster is replete with tantalizing potential. Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III figure to be a strong duo in the backfield. Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, and Noah Fant all have the potential to be household names by the end of the 2021 season. The defense has strong contributors all over the field. Shelby Harris and Josey Jewell both have an opportunity to take the next step as well, which could help keep this team stay competitive in a lot of low-scoring games, if the quarterback position ends up being an issue.
Nonetheless, the AFC is loaded with eight teams having won 10 or more games in 2020. If betting Denver under 8.5 wins, it does make sense to bet on a playoff berth either. The Broncos should be better in 2021 than they were last year, but until they figure out the quarterback situation, this is a team destined for mediocrity or worse, which means a return to the postseason is at least one year away.