2012 Denver Broncos Betting Preview
It’s been a strange last year or so for the Denver Broncos. First, it didn’t look like they were going anywhere during the early season last year. Then they put Tim Tebow in at quarterback, and won a bunch of games by playing lousy for three quarters, then rallying for victory, and went on to win the very mediocre AFC West. Then the Broncos upset the Steelers in a playoff game in shocking fashion, before getting bounced by New England. Then, over the off-season, Denver won the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, and dumped Tebow. Whew, that’s a lot for one year. So the Broncos go into this season with huge optimism with their new quarterback, even though they’re not totally sure he’ll be able to play.
Last Season in Review
In its first season under Coach Fox Denver started 1-4 with Kyle Orton quarterbacking, then made the switch to Tebow, setting off a bomb that engulfed NFL Sunday afternoons for the next two months. The Broncos won seven of their next eight games, most in comeback fashion, to get to 8-5 and the top of the AFC West. Denver then lost its last three in a row, but backed into the division title anyway. They then beat the Steelers in another thriller, solidifying Tebow’s spot in NFL folklore.
Nobody thought the Broncos would go into Foxboro and win, so the season-ending loss to the Patriots came as no surprise.
In the end, including the playoffs, Denver went 9-9 last year, even though they got outscored by 110 points.
The Broncos ranked 23rd in offense last year 317 YPG, but led the league in rushing at 165 YPG, as Willis McGahee experienced a re-birth, running for 1,200 yards, and Tebow ran for 660 yards from the QB position.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage Denver wasn’t as good as many thought. Yes, they held seven teams to 17 points or less, but not one of those teams made the playoffs. Overall the Broncos’ D ranked 20th, allowing 358 YPG, and 22nd vs. the run, giving up 126 YPG on the ground.
So Denver leaned schizophrenic in three important categories; they ranked 27th in total yardage at -41 per game; third in total rushing at +39 per game; but 25th in average time-of-possession at -2:18 per game.
Around the NFL last year teams that lost the TOP battle also lost vs. the spread 66 percent of the time.
Despite all the excitement surrounding Tebow’s “heroics” Denver went just 7-9 ATS last year. They also went 9-7 on the totals, as Broncos games averaged 44 points.
The Broncos lost several players on defense over the off-season, including a couple of DTs, a CB and S Brian Dawkins. In the acquisitions department, besides Manning, Denver added WRs Brandon Stokley and Jason Hill, TE Joel Dreessen, CBs Tracy Porter and Drayton Florence and S Mike Adams.
In the draft the Broncos didn’t have a first-round choice, then added DT Derek Wolfe with the 36th pick, QB Brock Osweiler with the 57th pick and RB Ronnie Hillman with the 67th choice.
2012 Broncos Schedule
Based on last year’s W/L records Denver will play the second-toughest schedule in the league this season, with seven games vs. teams that made the playoffs last year. The offense better get it’s timing down with Manning quickly, because the slate is tough right from the start. The Broncos open with a playoff rematch vs. the Steelers on a Sunday night, then go Falcons-Texans-Raiders-Patriots-Chargers into their bye week. They then pick up play by going Saints-Bengals-Panthers-Chargers, but things, thankfully, ease up a bit after that.
2012 Denver Broncos Betting Odds and Predictions
Denver is listed at +170 at BetOnline to win the AFC West again this season, 15/2 to win the AFC and 15/1 to win the Super Bowl, while over at Bookmaker the Broncos have been pegged with a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of nine (O +110/U -140).
If Manning can’t go, and remember, this is a guy who’s had multiple operations on his neck, the Broncos would be left with either Caleb Hanie or Osweiler at QB. And while reports indicate Manning is healthy, there’s no way we’d place a futures bet on Denver without knowing absolutely for sure if he can play. If he can, at anything close to his previous performance level, the Broncos could contend in the AFC, which would make those conference championship odds tempting. But we might wait a while yet to get down on that bet.