NFL Betting Trends: Fade the Low-Scoring Denver Broncos

Posted on: December 1, 2022, 03:31h. 

Last updated on: December 1, 2022, 04:59h.

The Denver Broncos are 3-8 and have a multitude of problems, including an incompetent rookie head coach, an ineffective offensive attack, injuries to numerous starters, and a blockbuster trade for quarterback Russell Wilson that looks like it blew up in their face.

Denver Broncos Hackett Wilson Trade Fade ATS
Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett and quarterback Russell Wilson discuss strategy during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. (Image: USA Today Sports)

Bettors took advantage of the Broncos’ dismal season by fading them outright and betting the under points total. The Broncos are 3-8 against the spread, with the third-worst ATS record in the NFL. The Broncos are the lowest-scoring team in the league, and betting the points under is 10-1 this season.

Heading into Week 13, the Baltimore Ravens (7-4) host the Broncos on Sunday. The Broncos are +8.5 road dogs, and the points total is 39.5 o/u.

The Broncos are in the middle of a three-game losing streak and currently occupy last place in the AFC West. After starting the season 2-1, the Broncos won once in their last eight games.

The Broncos have six remaining games on their schedule. They are 1-5 on the road this season and play three more away games against the Ravens (Week 13), Los Angeles Rams (Week 16), and Kansas City Chiefs (Week 18). The Broncos are 2-3 at home this season and host three more home games in the thin air of Colorado against the Chiefs (Week 14), Arizona Cardinals (Week 16), and the Los Angeles Chargers (Week 18).

Bad Gamble on Aaron Rodgers and Nathaniel Hackett

The Broncos have been a complete disappointment this season after acquiring Wilson in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are thriving with backup quarterback Geno Smith at the helm while the Broncos find themselves tied for the second-worst record in the NFL with Wilson.

Wilson shoulders most of the blame as the face of the franchise. He played through multiple injuries, but even when he was healthy, he looked like a shell of himself compared to the 10 seasons he spent with the Seahawks.

Head coach Nathaniel Hackett and Wilson never got on the same page. The Broncos gave Hackett, the former offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, his first head coaching job to lure a disgruntled Aaron Rodgers to Denver. Rodgers had a well-publicized falling out with the front office, and all signs pointed toward the Packers trading an unhappy Rodgers to the Broncos in the off-season.

Rodgers and the Packers ironed out their differences, and the Packers offered him a $200 million contract extension to stay in Green Bay. The Broncos’ gamble on Rodgers failed, and they were stuck with a new head coach in Hackett who lacked experience.

The Broncos frantically pivoted to find a new quarterback. The Seahawks were shopping an unhappy Wilson, and the Broncos jumped at the chance to acquire a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

The Broncos gave up multiple first-rounders and five total draft picks, plus three players to get Wilson. They’re on the hook for a five-year contract extension worth $245 million. It took less than one month into the season before fans began kvetching that the Broncos made a huge error and that the Seahawks were the huge winner in the Wilson trade.

Denver ER: Banged-Up Broncos

The Broncos lost starting running back Javonte Williams to a season-ending ACL injury in Week 4, and their offense has been in a tailspin ever since. They recently cut backup running back Melvin Gordon for too many costly fumbles. Their top running back right now, Latavius Murray, is a former practice squad player from the New Orleans Saints. Murray leads the Broncos’ stagnant rushing attack with three touchdowns in six games.,

Wide receivers KJ Hamler and Jerry Jeudy missed multiple games this season with injuries. Hamler missed four games with a hamstring issue and he’s out indefinitely. Jeudy is healing from a high ankle sprain.

Wilson nursed two injuries that affected his throwing and mobility, but he only missed one game. He suffered a partially torn lat muscle during a Week 4 loss against the Las Vegas Raiders. He also tweaked his hamstring with a Grade 2 strain during a Week 6 overtime loss against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Wilson struggled this season, completing a career-low 58.9% of his passes. He’s averaging 7.1 yards per completion, which is also a career low. Overall, he’s completed 198 passes for 2,369 yards. He’s tossed only eight touchdowns and has five interceptions. He’s rushed for just one touchdown.

In 159 games spanning 10 seasons with the Seahawks, Wilson threw 292 touchdowns. He never completed less than 21 touchdowns in a single season. He had five seasons in which he threw 30-plus touchdowns. Just two seasons ago, he tossed 40 touchdowns in 2020.

The big joke going around Colorado right now is whether or not Wilson will throw more touchdowns than the number of bedrooms in his mansion. His swanky abode in Cherry Hills Village has 12 bedrooms, and he’s thrown only eight touchdown passes in 10 games so far this season.

Broncos Average 14.3 Points Per Game

The Broncos average 14.3 points per game as the lowest-scoring team in the NFL this season. Even the awful, one-win Houston Texans average 15.8 points per game.

Nine teams average at least 25 points per game, and the Chiefs lead the league, generating 29.6 points per game.

The Broncos have the third-best defense in the NFL, allowing 17.8 points per game. Their air-tight pass defense is the only reason why they’ve won three games.

In seven of their losses, the Broncos scored fewer than 16 points per game. They lost three games in overtime, and 10 out of their 11 games were decided by one score.

If the Broncos scored just 18 points per game this season, they’d have a 7-4 record and sit in second place in the AFC West with the fourth-best record in the AFC. They’ve scored 21 or more points only twice this season, and have a 1-1 record in those games.

The Broncos average 319.1 yards of total offense, which is ranked #25 in the league. The Broncos are ranked #18 with 214.8 passing yards per game. They average only 104.3 rushing yards per game, which is ranked #24.

If you look at advanced metrics like DVOA, the Broncos are ranked #29 overall, with the fourth-worst offense in the league. Their aerial attack is ranked #27 in DOVA, and their ground attack is ranked #26.

All signs indicate that Hackett will be a one-and-done head coach after the Broncos fire him at the end of the season. Sean Payton, who retired from the New Orleans Saints after last season, is on the shortlist of potential candidates to become the Broncos’ next head coach.