Should Losing Von Miller Impact Bets On The Denver Broncos?

September 9, 2020

The Denver Broncos have not been a great team since Peyton Manning decided to hang up his cleats after the 2015 season. But with the emergence of Drew Lock at quarterback last season, Broncos fans have reason to be hopeful heading into 2020. 

Hopeful enough to justify betting on them? Well— maybe.

With the Chiefs in their division, winning the AFC West title will not be easy (+1100 via DraftKings; Chiefs are -500). Their AFC title odds are not great (+2500), and neither are there Super Bowl odds (+5000).

While there is reason to believe the Broncos could be a much better team than they were last season, the competition in the AFC West, AFC, and NFL-at-large make it hard to justify betting on them. But when it comes to making the playoffs and their win total, that is a different story.

Last season saw the Broncos go 7-9 overall and 4-1 in the five games Lock started. With the addition of Melvin Gordon to the run game and rookie Jerry Jeudy to the passing game, it is not hard to imagine the offense being even better.

Should that be the case, it is not hard to imagine them covering the over on their win total of 7.5 (over– +118; under -143). Of course, if they do cover the over, it is quite possible they secure one of three wildcards and make the playoffs (yes +200; no -250).

With only a five-game sample, defenses may no have Lock figured out too well, yet. So, there is a reason for optimism when it comes to the offense. But the defense is another story altogether with the recent loss of Von Miller for the regular season.

Miller went down with an ankle injury during the last play of practice Tuesday. Team officials feared the worst but held out hope, pending an MRI. While the news was not good, it could have been worse. Nothing was torn, but he does have a dislocated peroneal tendon.

He could be out for as little as three months, but recovery typically takes 5-6 months.

So, the question bettors must answer now is how much Miller’s loss could impact the defense…

Will they be able to cover the over? Can they still make the playoffs?

The most significant difference will likely be felt early on with Bradley Chubb expected to be on a pitch count early on. But if he can ramp up his activity level relatively quick and live up to his draft hype, the defense might be in pretty decent shape.

However, with him coming off an ACL injury that forced him to miss 12 games last season, Vic Fangio may be leery about pushing the 24-year old Chubb too hard too soon.

Last year, with Chubb missing for most of the season, the defense ranked 12th in total yards allowed and 10th in points allowed. So, they were still pretty good even though they were down one of their better players.

Theoretically, they could still be okay even though 31-year old Von Miller is out for the regular season.

So—how should this news impact how you bet on the Denver Broncos?

At best, they already were a dark horse candidate to win the AFC West, AFC, or Super Bowl. With Miller out, that doesn’t change; it might make them a little darker, if anything. As for their win total, it all depends on how much faith you want to put in Drew Lock.

Yes, he went 4-1 as a starter, but the four teams he beat had a combined record of 25-38-1.

So, how should you approach betting on the Broncos? There isn’t much reward to warrant the risk in them covering the over. But at +200, if you are open to the risk and with three wild card teams this year, betting on them to make the playoffs would not be foolish.  

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Travis
Travis Pulver
Travis a native-Texan which is where his love of football originated. But after moving around a lot when he was younger, he was able to develop an appreciation for the game and not just his favorite teams. He now lives in Indiana with his wife, Nicole, and two kids, Jackson and Addison. You can find him on Twitter at @FatManWriting.