DraftKings Sportsbook released its win total lines for NFL teams this week. They set the over under at 8.5 wins for the Broncos, which means bettors are essentially picking whether the Broncos will be above or below .500. That’s a big step in the right direction for a team that won five games in 2022.
The 2023 NFL schedule won’t be released until May, but the matchups have been decided for months. I ran through every game on the Broncos’ schedule and guessed what the spread will be when Vegas releases its lines next month.
Here’s what I came up with, starting with the games I think the Broncos will be the biggest underdogs in:
+10.5 @ Chiefs
The toughest game of the year is going on the road to take on the Chiefs. The Broncos have lost 15 in a row against Kansas City, and that history will push the line just a little further in the Chiefs’ direction.
+8.5 @ Bills
Going to Arrowhead is tough, but going to Buffalo isn’t much easier, especially late in the year. The Bills have the third-best chance to win the AFC, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, and the Broncos will be in for an uphill battle in this one.
+5.5 vs. Chiefs
The Chiefs will be favored in Denver, but this spread would be the narrowest in the series since the Broncos were 3-point home dogs in 2019. Kansas City was an 8.5-point favorite in Denver last year.
+4.5 @ Chargers
Vegas likes the Chargers’ chances in 2023 better than the Broncos’, and they’re probably right. Both teams have question marks, but the Chargers are coming off a playoff appearance, and their star quarterback just turned 25. This line probably overestimates the home-field advantage in LA.
+3.5 @ Dolphins
Miami won eight of its first 11 games last year but closed the season out by losing five of its last six. So what exactly are the Dolphins? I don’t know, but they’ll be favorites at home against the Broncos. The spread might not be this wide, though.
+2.5 @ Lions
Detroit’s season was the inverse of Miami’s; they won eight of their last 10 but only won nine games total. The Lions are trending in the right direction, and they’ll be favored over the Broncos, but only by the standard 2.5 points for the home team.
+1.5 @ Raiders
The Broncos have lost six games in a row to the Raiders, but after losing Derek Carr and Darren Waller in the offseason, Vegas will see the Broncos as the stronger team. As the home team, the Broncos will still be favored. If the Broncos pull out the win, it will be their first on the road against the Raiders since Super Bowl 50.
Pick ‘Em vs. Jets
The Jets’ defense carried them to seven wins last year, and the hope is that the addition of Aaron Rodgers and the return of running back Breece Hall will bring the offense up to speed. This game is a toss-up, but the Jets will probably be a slight favorite.
Pick ‘Em vs. Chargers
The Broncos will be favorites in this one, but not by enough to give up points. The Chargers haven’t won in Denver since 2018.
-1 vs. Vikings
Minnesota probably wasn’t as good as its 13-4 record last season would indicate, thanks to record-setting success in close games. The Vikings would be favored over the Broncos at a neutral site but not in the Mile High City.
-2 @ Bears
This spread should probably be bigger, considering the Bears earned the top pick in the NFL Draft last season. But bettors love young quarterbacks and Justin Fields showed flashes last season.
-2.5 vs. Browns
The Browns and Broncos are in similar positions, with proven veteran quarterbacks coming off career-worst campaigns. I’ll guess that Vegas sees them as equally-talented teams and the Broncos as favorites due to being at home.
-3 vs. Packers
Green Bay is happy to see Aaron Rodgers leave and Jordan Love step into the starting job. But should it be? Will the Packers look more like last year’s eight-win team or the 13-win teams from the previous three seasons? Could they bottom out without a hall-of-fame quarterback (probably) for the first time in three decades?
-3.5 vs. Raiders
The Broncos were 2.5-point favorites against the Raiders in Denver last year. That margin grew this offseason.
-3.5 vs. Patriots
New England is tough to place. They’ve won 25 games in the three seasons since Tom Brady left town, but the only place to see potential improvement is if the young quarterbacks get better. As it stands, the Patriots are one of the least-threatening teams on the Broncos’ schedule.
-4.5 vs. Commanders
With Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett competing to be the starter, the Commanders may have the worst quarterback situation of any team on the Broncos’ schedule. However, Washington has enough talent on the roster to make this matchup competitive.
-8 @ Texans
Houston is (somehow) still in the early stages of its rebuild. They’ll use the No. 2 overall pick on a quarterback, which will be exciting, but the lack of talent will make the Broncos a heavy road favorite.