The Denver Broncos have suddenly become NFL darlings. By virtue of the Broncos’ acquisition of nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson, it seems this team is now back in the national spotlight.
We’ll take it.
After the NFL gave Denver just one primetime game last year (a Thursday-nighter vs. Cleveland), the Broncos have been given a whopping five in 2022. And they start right off the bat.
Denver’s first primetime game is the season-opener at the Seattle Seahawks, which will be broadcast on Monday Night Football. As it stands, the Broncos are 3.5-point favorites to win Wilson’s revenge game.
But it’s not just the primetime games. The Broncos have become darlings of the oddsmakers, too.
As it stands, the Broncos currently owns the third-best odds of winning the entire AFC (+800) by SI Sportsbook. Ahead of Denver are the Buffalo Bills (+300) and Kansas City Chiefs (+450). The Broncos are tied for the eighth-best odds of winning the Super Bowl (+1600).
Juxtaposed with their odds of winning the AFC West, it’s a bit curious. SI gives the Broncos the third-best odds of winning the division (+260), with Kansas City at No. 1 and the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 1 2 (+240 odds).
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When it comes to win totals, the over/under on the Broncos’ 2022 campaign is 10.5 wins. If I were a betting man, I’d definitely take the over (+130).
“It was just exciting to get the schedule,” head coach Nathaniel Hackett said last week. [and] you’re so excited. You always go down there and try to circle those primetime games, and to see all the ones that we have. It’s so exciting. I mean, to open up at Seattle is a great opportunity for our team to test us early. It was really cool just to see it and know that hey, this is the first year in this role.”
When it comes to the MVP race, Wilson is currently tied with Matthew Stafford (+1400) for the seventh-best odds of winning. It would be quite the feat for Wilson as he’s never garnered even one MVP vote over his 10-year career, despite being selected to the Pro Bowl in all but one season and leading his team to the playoffs in eight of them.
It’s all more evidence of how just how much the needle has moved for Denver since Wilson arrived. Bolstered by an offensive-minded head coach who will make the quarterback the focus of the team’s scheme and identity, and complemented by a phenomenal supporting cast of skill-position players and an offensive line — to say nothing of a defense teeming with menace — and Wilson is poised to have a huge transitional season in Denver.
Buckle up because the 2022 campaign is shaping up to be quite the ride for Broncos Country.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ShadNJensen.
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