Denver Broncos Odds Preview

You have to feel for Denver Broncos fans, as they’ve endured absolutely horrific offseasons for two straight years. In 2009 they said goodbye to Jay Cutler and “welcomed” a hothead, power-tripping head coach in Josh McDaniels.

This year, they shipped off another elite offensive talent, Brandon Marshall, and lost their best defensive player, NFL sack champ Elvis Dumervil, to a serious pectoral injury.

Odds to win Division: +600 Regular Season Win Total: 7.5 (OV +135, UN -165) Super Bowl Odds: 65 to 1 The Broncos were expected to be a train wreck in 2009; books like had their win total around 6.5. They surprised bettors when they flew out to 6-0 start. Even though they crashed down to Earth in the second half, they still defied the odds overall. Can the Broncos find a way to surprise us again in 2010? With one key offensive piece after another leaving Denver – Mike Shanahan, Cutler, Marshall, even Tony Scheffler – it’s natural to wonder how the Broncos will score points in 2010. However, they still do have a few intriguing offensive players. Knowshon Moreno flashed good potential as a runner and receiver in his rookie season. If he can shake off the hamstring injury he suffered in camp, he could break out this year.

Demaryius Thomas was a high-upside draft choice for Denver at receiver and could win a starting job this season. He posted some ridiculous, video-game numbers at Georgia Tech last year, racking up 1,154 yards on just 46 catches (25.1 yards per catch). But can either of these young guns accomplish anything without an effective quarterback? Kyle Orton is a so-so option who makes too many mistakes. If he struggles, defenses will key on Moreno. And does Orton have the arm to maximize Thomas’ talents? If he doesn’t, McDaniels may turn to Denver’s boom/bust draft choice, Tim Tebow. The most celebrated college football player ever should find a role in Denver’s offense – but will it be as a runner instead of a quarterback? We should at least expect to see him in the Wildcat formation. The Broncos had an elite pass defense in 2010 – one that really pushed their win total up. But, with respect to the stellar Champ Bailey, much of that success came from their pass rush. With no Dumervil, can Denver still get to the quarterback? Given how many projects they have offensively, and their uncertainty on defense, the Broncos may have trouble eclipsing seven wins in 2010. They may even finish behind Kansas City and Oakland in the AFC West. If the 7.5 win total seems high it may be a result of Denver’s schedule. Divisional rival San Diego is tough, but only Indianapolis, Baltimore, the New York Jets, and perhaps San Francisco stand out as difficult opponents aside from that.