NFL Betting: Broncos Begin Their AFC Title Defense Against A Tough Opponent
After losing the Super Bowl, it’s easy for a team to get defeated and feel that all the effort wasn’t worth it. The Denver Broncos have to believe they can get back to football’s biggest game.
Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos – Sunday, September 7
Sports betting line: Broncos -7.5
Why Indianapolis Will Win
This is a game the Colts should feel very confident about. They were one of the few teams to beat Denver last year, joining San Diego and New England on that short list. Why was Indianapolis so successful against Denver? The Colts’ cornerbacks were very physical with the Broncos’ receivers. Indianapolis established early on in that game last season that it would not be intimidated at all, and that it would take the fight to Peyton Manning and his playmakers. This relentless defensive pressure on the outside portions of the field took away Manning’s options. He didn’t get to hit receivers in open space, and he had to hold onto the ball for longer stretches of time because he couldn’t trust that his receivers were getting open. The Colts know that if they are assertive and forceful in terms of the way they play defense, they can get the Broncos on their heels. Having already defeated Denver last season can give Indianapolis the confidence needed to do so again, even though this is a road game.
What should particularly help the Colts this time around is the fact that they will be playing a Denver team that will be without kicker Matt Prater and receiver Wes Welker. Both players are very dependable and did so much to make Denver a Super Bowl team last season. Welker is especially valuable to Denver’s passing game because he is able to convert those third and five types of situations that move the chains and keep drives alive.
Why Denver Will Win
When you look at this game, the absence of Welker is a problem, but the Broncos have made upgrades in other areas to compensate for what they might lose on offense. Getting DeMarcus Ware on the defensive line represents a huge boost for the Broncos’ pass rush, which really stalled late in the 2013 season when injuries mounted and the depth chart became thin. Ware can provide more power when other players are not at their best. The other big pickup made by the Broncos was the acquisition of Aqib Talib from New England. Talib made New England’s secondary as good as it was last season. When Talib was injured in the AFC Championship Game against the same Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning was able to attack the Patriots with the passing game. Talib’s presence on the field for Denver will be a big resource in the face of Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck. That should matter before the night is over.
Who Will Win
The Colts have a successful formula for how to play Denver. They are also a team that won at San Francisco last season and did not back down away from home. This game will be close, but is Luck ready to outduel Peyton on the road? Denver will win, and Indianapolis will cover.
NFL Betting Pick: Colts +7.5