Updated: Aug 17, 2021
I hopped on this one at o7.5 wins (+100) in early April, but the Rodgers-to-Denver speculation has driven the price up. Regardless, I still project the Broncos to win at least 9 games. The Broncos have one of the easiest schedules in the league this season. Denver plays a fourth place schedule this year, so they have matchups against Cincinnati, Jacksonville, and New York (Jets). They also receive the luxury of playing the NFC East, along with drawing Detroit in their AFC-NFC matchup. In addition to a soft schedule, the Broncos possess a loaded roster. It was ranked as the sixth-best in the league prior to the 2021 NFL Draft, according to Pro Football Focus. The defense is stacked. Star edge-rusher Von Miller returns from injury, and Shelby Harris, who is one of the best defensive linemen in football, decided to re-sign. The secondary is even better; in fact, it may be the NFL's best. The Broncos selected the best cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft (Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II). The Broncos already have Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons, who ranked in the top nine in safety rankings, according to Pro Football Focus. Denver also brought in cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller, who are both considered to be above-average players in coverage. The Denver secondary will absolutely feast on below-average passing attacks. The offense has quality pieces as well. Star wide receiver Courtland Sutton returns from injury, and second-year wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is on the cusp of a breakout season. Second-round running back Javonte Williams is a star in the making, as is third-year tight end Noah Fant. The only thing holding this team back is atrocious quarterback play. According to all available metrics, Drew Lock was among the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL last season, so Denver decided to address the situation by bringing in veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. If the quarterback play could just be decent, this team should be able to get to 9-10 wins and make the postseason. Their postseason odds sit at +163. It is also worth noting that Aaron Rodgers has expressed a desire to play in Denver, as has star quarterback Deshaun Watson. To the shock of many, the Broncos passed on Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the ninth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, so that should signal that the organization is comfortable with the quarterback situation as it is or confident in the strength of the team's overall roster. Regardless, I expect the Denver Broncos to exceed expectation this season, due to the forgiving schedule, stout defense, up-and-coming stars on offense, and the significant home field advantage of playing in a high-altitude environment.
Best Bet: Broncos over 8.5 wins (-134)
You can find odds to bet on the Denver Broncos win total at various sportsbooks, such as DraftKings.
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