The Denver Broncos’ offseason plans took a detour in July when Aaron Rodgers officially returned to Green Bay on the eve of NFL training camp.
Had Rodgers taken his talents elsewhere, Denver emerged as the favorite among Colorado sportsbooks to land the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player. But new Broncos General Manager George Paton developed a strong contingency plan months earlier with the acquisition of veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Bridgewater, a 2014 first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings, outdueled incumbent Drew Lock for the starting gig in camp. The Broncos also return eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller, who missed the entire 2020 season with an Achilles injury. Denver furthered bolstered its defense with the selection of Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, a defensive back many experts pegged as the top corner of the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Broncos have a season-win total of 8.5 wins at WynnBet, placing Denver around the middle of the pack among the 32 NFL teams. Since defeating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, the Broncos have failed to make the playoffs in each of the last five seasons.
Here are three Broncos props for sports bettors to keep an eye on for the 2021 season:
Jeudy receiving yards: O/U 920.5
The selection of Bridgewater over Lock could impact a prop on Jerry Jeudy, the second-year wideout from Alabama. Jeudy finished with 856 receiving yards during an inconsistent rookie season, when he hit the 100-yard mark just twice in 16 games. On a positive note, Jeudy concluded the season with arguably the best effort of his rookie campaign, when he caught five passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in a season-ending defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders.
While Lock has gained a reputation for possessing one of the most powerful arms in the league, Bridgewater is more methodical, known for his ability to surgically pick apart a defense on short and intermediate routes alike. Don’t be surprised if Bridgewater checks to his backs instead of looking for Jeudy deep. Bridgewater also tends to hold onto the ball in the pocket, rather than risk an incompletion by making an ill-advised pass. The tendency could affect Jeudy’s reception total of 68.5 (over -121/under -110) at PointsBet.
As it relates to receiving yards, there is some juice on the over at -135. Jeudy is expected to make a big jump from 2020, when he averaged 53.5 yards per game. If Jeudy averages 55 yards per contest in 2021, he’ll finish with 935 in the expanded 17-game season, assuming he plays a full schedule.
I spoke to Brandon White, who helps train Jerry Jeudy, to find out if Jeudy can live up to the high expectations this season for the #Broncos.
“He’s a scary, scary, scary guy. They have no idea…"
On a potential monster season for Jeudy:https://t.co/jGN6J319Eo
— George Stoia III (@GeorgeStoia) September 10, 2021
Fellow Broncos wideout Courtland Sutton returns after missing nearly all of last season with a torn ACL. Sutton’s total at PointsBet is 1,050.5 receiving yards. While Sutton’s presence will take some targets away from Jeudy, the young wideout will benefit from more looks in single coverage. The prop is a tough one to determine; it very well could come down to the season finale against the Chiefs.
Miller total sacks: O/U 9.5
Throughout his 10-year NFL career, Miller has distinguished himself from other rushers with his explosiveness off the edge. Known for his dogged work ethic, Miller has completed sets of stair jump squats up a steep incline while wearing a weighted vest. The drill helps pass rushers develop power and explosiveness. But Miller’s explosiveness could come into question following season-ending surgery on his Achilles last year, an injury that in some cases can be career-ending.
bordenfb4ever RT DLineVids: Von Miller (VonMiller) doing stair jump squats with a weighted vest. A great lower body workout that builds power & explosiveness! #Broncos https://t.co/em4IKaKDlI pic.twitter.com/0HmfN1EoOJ
— George Ross (@NJRecruitlook) July 14, 2018
The injury notwithstanding, Miller appears to be on the downside of his career. After recording double-digit sack totals in five straight years, he finished with nine sacks in 2019, when he appeared in 15 games. At DraftKings, Miller has odds of 18/1 to lead the league in sacks. Eight others have better odds to win the sack crown.
With one of the league’s most talented secondaries, opposing quarterbacks may hold the ball longer against Denver in 2021. Besides the selection of Surtain, Denver also added veteran defensive backs Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby through free agency. They will be paired with safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson to give the Broncos a formidable secondary against the pass.
The over on Miller’s sack total is -135.
Broncos exact season wins: 9 wins at +400
The Broncos face one of the easiest schedules across the league. Denver must get off to a quick start, considering its first four games are against the Giants, Jaguars, Jets, and Ravens, three of which missed the playoffs last year. The Ravens are reeling following injuries to three of their main running backs in the offseason.
The books largely expect Denver to finish within a range of six to 10 wins on the season. The Broncos also face six other non-playoff teams from last year in the Lions, Bengals, Raiders, Chargers, Cowboys, and the Eagles. At 10-7, the Broncos would have a strong chance of making the postseason.
Broncos season win total at WynnBet
- 9 wins — +400
- 10 wins — +500
- 8 wins — +600
- 6 wins — +1000
- 14 wins — +2000
- 16-17 wins — +6000
- 0-3 wins — +8000
Denver has odds of +120 to make the playoffs at DraftKings, along with odds of -150 to miss the postseason.