Broncos open as favorites vs. Ravens, but not as overwhelming favorites

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The Broncos begin the 2015 regular season at home against Baltimore, and they have opened as point spread favorites, just as they have been in 27-of-28 games in Denver since Peyton Manning arrived three years ago.

However, the Broncos aren’t huge favorites by any stretch, and that’s telling.

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, which set the first Week One lines in Nevada, has made Denver a four-point favorite over Baltimore. The CG Technology sports books have similarly listed the Broncos as four-point favorites, per VegasInsider.com.

Now contrast that line to the last two point spreads in Ravens-Broncos matchups in Denver with Manning under center.

In the 2012 divisional playoffs, the Broncos were nine-point favorites over Baltimore, which pulled off the upset and went on to win the Super Bowl.

In the 2013 regular season opener, the Broncos were 7.5-point favorites vs. the Ravens. This time, the Broncos turned the tables, rolling to victory.

In short, the opening point spread for Baltimore-Denver suggests the Nevada betting market doesn’t see a significant difference between the clubs entering 2015.

Think of it this way: it’s generally assumed the home field is worth about a field goal on the line. Take that out of the equation, and a Denver-Baltimore game on a neutral field might have an even narrower point spread.

There are multiple factors likely at play here. The Broncos lost some of their core talent in free agency, most notably tight end Julius Thomas and defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. There’s also the matter of what the 39-year-old Manning has left. Furthermore, the Ravens gave Super Bowl-winning New England all it could handle in the 2014 divisional playoffs.

It will be interesting to see how handicappers treat the Broncos in 2015. Some might see the prospect of a Manning-led team laying a mere four points as value. Others, however, might decide the end is near.

It’s against this backdrop that the Baltimore-Denver line is set. Are these the big, bad Broncos of recent years, or are they just the Broncos?

18 responses to “Broncos open as favorites vs. Ravens, but not as overwhelming favorites

  1. If Flacco can play in September like he does in January, the Ravens should win. Hard to figure why he is so much better in the post season than he is in the regular season.

  2. pastabelly says:
    Apr 22, 2015 2:51 PM

    If Flacco can play in September like he does in January, the Ravens should win. Hard to figure why he is so much better in the post season than he is in the regular season.

    Jump Ball Joe plays a high risk/ high reward game.
    with a larger sample size that tends to even out.
    with smaller sample sizes he’s had some nice lucky streaks.

  3. I’d be surprised if the Ravens won this one. Gonna take a while to get the new offense working right, and Manning is at his best in early games, before the grind takes its toll.

  4. Denver should have less attraction to bettors. After all, Manning looked like he was hitting a wall towards the end of last season. But most importantly – even if Manning is still very good – Kubiak as a HC is a radical downgrade over what the Burros had in John Fox…all due to Elway’s proven inability to get along with good HCs.

  5. Couldn’t we wait until the mini-camps, the draft, training camps, pre-season and about a million other things before we start with the betting?

  6. Hard to figure why he is so much better in the post season than he is in the regular season.

    ___________________________________

    it’s why he’s called “January” Joe

  7. I think people are severely underestimating how well Manning and Kubiak will mesh. Manning is going to be tremendously relieved by the running game alone.

    Broncos opening at home will be the edge in this game. Though if they meet again in the playoffs I’d take Baltimore.

  8. The image of Manning late in the season would give one the impression that his physical ability has begun to slide into that of a player less capable of meeting the demands of a potential champ. On the other hand Flacco is a physical beast who seems to get stronger as the year goes on and the games become more important to win in a tough division. As a Patriots fan, I for one do not like seeing the Ravens show up in January as an opponent.

  9. ninetysixer says:Apr 22, 2015 3:08 PM

    Hard to figure why he is so much better in the post season than he is in the regular season.

    ___________________________________

    it’s why he’s called “January” Joe
    ===============================

    As opposed to “February” Brady.

  10. One thing we can predict for sure, the stories that will be written on the buildup to this game will be mind numbing.

  11. That’s a hell of a lucky streak for Joey F – 24 td – 4 int his last 10 playoff games including a Super Bowl MVP. If we could all be so lucky..

  12. ninetysixer says:
    Apr 22, 2015 3:08 PM
    Hard to figure why he is so much better in the post season than he is in the regular season.

    ___________________________________

    it’s why he’s called “January” Joe

    ———————————————

    actually it’s ‘jump ball’ joe…

    and take it from a colts fan…in a regular season game with the weather likely to be nice, and nothing on the line, take manning all-day-long!

  13. with Smith and Webb healthy this game should be a lot different than last year. That being said, I still think the Ravens come away with a loss. That’s ok. Ravens will still be in playoffs. Notice that there is a very real chance that the Browns will be in first after week one

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