Prediction: Can Denver Broncos make the playoffs, or get to at least .500, in the AFC?

Denver Broncos

Thanks to the play of QB Drew Lock down the stretch last season, the Denver Broncos come into the 2020 NFL betting season looking to make a run at a playoff spot in the AFC.

But here is the thing: unless something happens to Patrick Mahomes specifically, and/or to the defending Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs, the Broncos are playing for second place in the AFC West.

Betting Favorites

Kansas City is the current betting favorite with PointsBet to repeat as Super Bowl victors (+575) just ahead of the Baltimore Ravens (+600), led by 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. If history repeats (Mahomes was NFL MVP in 2018), it could be Jackson holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy in February.

The Broncos are way down the list at +5500 with PointsBet promo code AMGAMBLER ($250 free bets bonus), and with an over/under win total of 7.5 (-115 over, -105 under), it does not look like that book thinks much of Denver’s chances to make the playoffs.

But a closer look may show that the Broncos could be worth a wager in some different betting markets. In Denver’s 0-4 start to the 2019 campaign, as well as a 2-6 record at the halfway mark, three of the losses were by exactly two points. One play per game could have been the difference between 2-6 and 4-4.

By the time Lock made his first start, Denver was 3-8; in his five starts to end the season, the Broncos went 4-1, including two wins by three or less points. 

If Denver can turn some of those close losses into wins, a 9-7 record for this season is not out of the question, and that could mean a playoff berth. 

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Prop Bets 

BetMGM has some interesting prop bets, including whether or not Denver will make the playoffs: yes is +165, no is -200. The site also has the over 7.5 at -139 (with the under 7.5), so it is a little higher on the Broncos to win at least eight games. You can also wager on if Denver will start 0-4 again (yes, +800), but with games at home against the Tennessee Titans (opening Monday night) and the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as road games with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets in the first four, it seems highly unlikely that Denver will start off as poorly as it did in 2019.

NFL Prop Bets, Specials and Predictions to Keep an Eye On Ahead of the 2020 Season

BetMGM also has exact win totals, with eight (+280) and nine (+390) looking tempting. If the Broncos can get through the first half of their schedule in decent shape, there are second half contests against Atlanta (O/U wins 7.5), Carolina (O/U 5.5), and two each against division rivals Los Angeles (O/U 7.5) and Las Vegas (O/U 7.5). 

Could 10 wins (+700) be on the docket?

Predictions

Denver to finish second in the AFC West (+220 BetMGM). Denver over 7.5 wins (-115 PointsBet).

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