Two of the league’s premier franchise clash in a Week 1 matchup that NFL fans will keep their eye on. Baltimore, Super Bowl champions in 2012, and Denver, winners of four straight AFC West Division titles, square off in a season-opening Sunday game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Ravens vs Broncos odds for the week 1 AFC conference battle have Denver favored at home by 5-points against Baltimore while NFL picks for week 1 on the over/under are posted at a high scoring 48½. Despite those four straight division championships, the Broncos dumped head coach John Fox, now the head man in Chicago. Gary Kubiak, the former offensive coordinator in Baltimore, is the head coach in Denver and has adapted his zone run-based offense to future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.
The 18-year veteran is finally healthy (a quadriceps injury hampered him in 2014) and the Broncos have a plan in place for resting the five-time league MVP throughout the season. Manning still has plenty of weapons surrounding him including wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryious Thomas. Both Sanders and Thomas recorded over 1,400 yards receiving in 2014 and are primed to do it again. The Broncos did lose one of the game’s better receiving tight ends in Julius Thomas, but gained former Raven Owen Daniel. The Broncos running game will undoubtedly be better as Kubiak brings his philosophy to a capable set of backs led by C.J. Anderson, Montee Ball, and Ronnie Hillman. Both Hillman and Ball suffered injuries last season, so having depth at the position, which Denver does, is a key to covering the point spread as favorites in Ravens vs Broncos odds. Baltimore will be Baltimore again in 2015 featuring a run-stopping defense, a strong ground game, and the heady play of veteran Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Flacco. The Ravens lost All-Pro nose tackle Haloti Ngata, but last year’s first-round draft pick Timmy Jernigan appears ready to take over.
The linebacking corps is solid with Terrell Suggs and Courtney Upshaw on the outside and future star C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith on the inside. The Ravens secondary is solid and is going to have to play well against arguably the league’s best quarterback and one-two receiving tandem if they are to cover the spread as five point underdogs in NFL picks for Ravens vs Broncos odds. The last time Manning faced the Ravens, he threw for 462 yards and seven touchdowns. The Ravens offense still has Justin Forsett (1,266 yards, eight TDs) and 15-year veteran wide receiver Steve Smith, who is coming off a season where he caught 79 passes for 1,065 yards. They will also have first round draft pick Breshad Perriman but not for the season opener. Perriman suffered a sprained knee in the preseason. Regardless, the Ravens will still have to face a very good Denver defense led by DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller. The week 1 season opener (Sunday, September 13th) between the Ravens and Broncos can be seen live on CBS at 4:25pm EST from Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
At the age of 39-years-old; many fans, handicappers and gamblers alike are asking if this season will be the last for Peyton Manning. Entering his eighteenth season, the Super Bowl champion and MVP (XLI) underwent neck surgery in 2011 and appears to be winding down his hall-of-fame career. Despite losing to the Colts (24-13) and missing the conference championship last season, 2015 AFC West odds still favor Manning and the Denver Broncos at -200 to win the division for the fifth straight year. NFL predictions have the Kansas City Chiefs at +400 to upset Denver followed by the San Diego Chargers (+500) and Oakland Raiders (+1200). That being said, if the Broncos are to have any chance of winning the AFC West, the offensive line will need to make sure that Manning keeps his jersey clean.
Outside tackle Ryan Clady has been the one tasked with protecting Manning's weak side but since suffering a torn ACL during OTA's in May, the responsibility will now be handed to rookie Ty Sambrailo (Colorado State). Louis Vasquez will once again be slotted at right tackle but it is anyone's guess who starts at center and left guard. Manning will still have wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders patrolling the sideline along with the addition of tight end Owen Daniels (Texans) but rely heavily on running back C.J. Anderson to carry most of the offensive workload. As for the defense, defensive end DeMarcus Ware and outside linebacker Von Miller will continue to cause opposing QB's to see plenty of orange while first round draft pick Shane Ray (Mizzou) will be eager to prove he was worth the selection.
The Kansas City Chiefs enter the year as +400 favorites in 2015 AFC West odds to win after going 9-7 SU and 7-9 ATS last season. Head coach Andy Reid will enter his third year holding the clipboard and is counting on QB Alex Smith and RB Jamaal Charles to lead the offense. Smith will have a former Reid protégé at wide receiver this year with the addition of Jeremy Maclin (Eagles) while veteran TE Travis Kelce will look to better last year's mark of 862-yards for 5-touchdowns. NFL predictions for the Chiefs have the squad projected to be one of the best pass defenses in the league with Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito returning not to mention the addition of safety Tyvon Branch (Raiders).
Although listed as longshots in 2015 AFC West odds to win, the San Diego Chargers could be a valuable play at +500 since bulky up the offensive line with guard Orlando Franklin (Broncos) and King Dunlap (Eagles) to help keep QB Philip Rivers off the ground. Rivers threw 4,286-yards for 31-touchdowns last season and will have the reliable wide receiver tandem of Malcolm Floyd and Keenan Allen back with rookie RB Melvin Gordon (Wisconin) carrying the ball. The Achilles heel for the Chargers could be their defense however with numerous inexperienced rookies filling important roles. And then there are "da Raidahs." New head coach Jack Del Rio inherits an Oakland Raiders team that went an embarrassing 3-13 SU and 8-8 ATS last season. QB Derek Carr will have a RB tandem of Latavius Murray and Roy Helu behind him with first round draft pick Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree (49ers) in the slots. Other than that, how the Raiders season plays out is as unpredictable as where they will play in 2016.
Even after four consecutive AFC West Division titles, a trip to the Super Bowl and 38 wins in the past three seasons; the Denver Broncos decided to part ways with head John Fox, who now is the head man for the Chicago Bears. Gary Kubiak, a former Broncos offensive coordinator, steps in to take over the reins and see if he can help Denver capture that elusive Super Bowl title. Bookmakers however aren't that optimistic as Super Bowl predictions have listed the Broncos at 12/1 to hoist the Lombardi trophy, 5/1 to win the AFC Conference and -200 in NFL odds to win the AFC West. Someone who is a bit more optimistic with Kubiak holding the clipboard is future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning as the 17-year veteran still has a few tricks left up his sleeve.
Manning will enter the 2015 season somewhat healthier after dealing with a quadriceps problem for much of last year. Kubiak is a practitioner of the zone offense and will rely heavily on running backs C.J. Anderson and Montee Ball. The Denver Broncos offensive line, which suffered its share of injuries last season, should be a strength. Guard Shelley Smith was signed from Houston and the Broncos drafted Ty Sambrailo (Colorado State) and Max Garcia (Florida). With a solid offensive line and improved ground game, the Broncos passing game should be even better. Manning threw for 4,727 yards and 39 touchdowns last season. Manning may also have the best 1-2 receiving tandem in the NFL with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Thomas caught 111 passes for 1,619 yards, while Sanders added 101 for 1,404. Denver lost tight end Julius Thomas to Jacksonville in free agency but picked up a pretty good one in Owen Daniels from Baltimore.
A big addition to the Broncos this season is new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. The NFL veteran has coached some of the league’s best pass rushers. He helped DeMarcus Ware record 60.5 sacks in four years in Dallas. Phillips rejoins Ware in Denver where he will line up opposite Von Miller. The pair combined for 24 sacks last year, Miller with 14 and Ware with 10. They should shine in Phillips’ 3-4 scheme. Even at 39 years old, Manning is still one of the top five quarterbacks in the game and, other than last year’s nagging injuries, has not shown any signs of slowing down. The Broncos will find out where they are at quickly and they can control the 2015 AFC West division once again. They begin the season at home against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 13th. NFL odds for the over/under total regular season wins have Denver posted at 10 OVER (-130).
Broncos Update (9/11/15): Denver are now +1400 favorites in Super Bowl predictions, +650 to win the AFC Conference and -150 to win the AFC West.
As the official beginning to the 2015 NFL season looms (Tuesday, March 10), there has already been plenty of action around the league. With the annual combine complete, teams are preparing for the upcoming NFL draft and figuring out what they will do with free agency this offseason. The latest NFL news includes Broncos QB Peyton Manning taking a pay cut to play in Denver, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson meeting with Minnesota management to discuss his future and the dynamic Eagles RB LeSean "Shady" McCoy being traded to the Buffalo Bills for Kiko Alonso.
The Denver QB and five-time NFL MVP, Peyton Manning, agreed to take a $4 million pay cut to help the Broncos free up some much needed salary cap room. The extra cash will allow Denver to be a little more active in the free agent market, which will start next Tuesday. Manning was scheduled to make $19 million during the 2015 season. He and the Broncos reworked his contract to give the future Hall of Famer a new base salary of $15 million. The contract still includes incentives that could push Manning’s total earnings to $19 million anyway. If Denver wins the AFC title game and then the Super Bowl, Manning would receive $2 million for each milestone. Current NFL betting odds to win Super Bowl 50 have the Broncos listed as 12/1 favorites.
Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman traveled to Houston to meet with Adrian Peterson about the possibility of returning to the Vikings for the 2015 season. Peterson is still a little wary about returning to Minnesota after missing 15 games last year. Peterson was suspended by the league for an incident in which he eventually pleaded no contest to in November. Peterson is set to make $12.75 million this season. The Vikings have a few options when it comes to Peterson. They can release him or trade him and they can also ask him to restructure his contract. With or without Peterson, Vegas has posted the Minnesota Vikings as a 65/1 longshot to win the NFL championship and 28/1 underdogs to win the NFC Conference.
The Philadelphia Eagles dealt LeSean McCoy, who finished third in the league in rushing last season, to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. McCoy has rushed for 6,792 yards and 44 touchdowns since he was drafted by the Eagles in 2009. He is one of the league’s premier running backs. Alonso was the runner-up for the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013 but missed the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL that he suffered in training camp. The trade will become official upon the start of the 2015 season on March 10th. 2016 Super Bowl odds currently have the Eagles listed as 25/1 favorites while the Bills are posted as 50/1 longshots.
Day three of the annual NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis featured the first testing of athletes in preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft. Offensive linemen and specialists participated in the Bench Press. The first on-field workouts take place Friday as the same two groups will go through a series of evaluations including the 40-yard dash and the vertical jump. Each year, roughly 335 of the top college football players in the nation are invited to the combine where they are put through a battery of medical, psychological, and physical tests. NFL teams use the data gathered at the combine and at pro days to determine where and when to draft a player. The specialists and offensive linemen including tight ends, along with quarterbacks and wide receivers, were all subject to psychological testing on Thursday prior to the bench press.
Quarterbacks and receivers will bench press on Friday. The top mark in the bench press on Thursday came from Miami offensive lineman Ereck Flowers who managed to hoist the 225-pound bar 37 times. Flowers enhanced his reputation as a potential first-round choice and can add to it with a strong showing in the drills on Friday. One of the more anticipated events of the combine will take place Saturday when the quarterbacks and wide receivers hit the field. Scouts will get a chance to look at Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, and several other intriguing prospects. Winston is not expected to throw at the combine and a recent picture that made its way through the cyber-sphere made the former Florida State star appear less than worthy of a first-round pick.
Mariota, on the other hand, could watch his stock rise. This season’s Heisman Trophy winner has run under 4.5 in the 40-yard dash previously and scouts love his demeanor and character. With a solid performance at the combine, Mariota may be a lock as the first selection in this year’s draft. Tampa Bay, which selects first when the NFL Draft starts on April 30th, is in need of a franchise QB. Mariota could be that guy. The NFL Combine concludes with defensive linemen and linebackers working out on Sunday and defensive backs on Monday. While Winston and Mariota very well increase an NFL teams stock to win a championship, current Super Bowl odds to win in 2016 favor the Seattle Seahawks (11/2), New England Patriots (6/1), Green Bay Packers (7/1) and Denver Broncos (12/1).
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has informed the franchise’s management that he intends to play in 2015. Manning met with Broncos general manager John Elway at team CEO Joe Ellis to express his intentions. While the two sides will continue to meet to work out the finer details of Manning’s return, it is not a done deal as of yet. Manning, who will be 39 next month, must undergo a physical evaluation by team doctors. The future Hall of Famer has been working with Mackie Shilstone, a well-known trainer to prepare for the 2015 season. Shilstone is known for working with elite athletes who are nearing the ends of their professional careers.
The Denver Broncos will need the results of that physical before making a decision on what to do with Manning. If the QB is on the Denver roster in March, the club will owe him $19 million, all of which is guaranteed. Needless to say, Elway and the top brass in Denver want to make sure their investment is protected. Denver also has to figure out what to do with free agents Demaryious Thomas and Julius Thomas. Demaryious Thomas, who had 111 catches for 1,619 yards last season, is one of the game’s most feared weapons and along with Julius Thomas, one of the league’s most productive tight ends, gives Denver one of the NFL’s most potent offenses.
There is roughly $26 million in salary cap space that Denver has for the 2015 season. Signing both Thomases is a priority, but having the game’s best QB to throw it to them is also a necessity. It is possible that Manning could restructure his contract to help with the salary cap. Elway has gone on the record stating he wants Manning to return. How that happens remains to be seen. NFL odds for the Denver Broncos to win the 2016 Super Bowl have squad listed as 14/1 favorites and 6/1 to win the 2015 AFC Conference.
With Super Bowl XLIX in the books, it’s never too early to start looking ahead. Super Bowl 50 will take place on Feb. 7, 2016, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Even after missing out on a chance for back-to-back championship titles, the Seattle Seahawks are still a heavy favorite to make it back and win the next Lombardi Trophy. 2016 Super Bowl odds list head coach Pete Carroll’s squad as 6/1 favorites to win it all. There are six franchises that will have new head coaches when the 2015 season begins. One of those, Jim Tomsula, will have the unique opportunity to become the first to lead his team to a championship game and play on the team’s home field since the 49ers play at Levi’s Stadium.
It will not be easy for San Francisco however listed as 40/1 longshots since coming off a very mediocre 8-8 season, will have a new coaching staff and a roster loaded with free agents. This offseason will have a big impact on what Tomsula and 49ers are able to do next year. Making it even more difficult for San Francisco is the fact that the NFC West Division is most likely the toughest in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals finished the regular season 11-5 with a rotation of average quarterbacks. Head coach Bruce Arians was rewarded with NFL Coach of the Year honors and is already claiming that his team will be the NFC representative next year. That being said, bookmakers feel differently listing the Cardinals as 25/1 longshots in 2016 Super Bowl odds to hoist the Lombardi.
Add in an improving St. Louis Rams (33/1), who will get QB Sam Bradford back, and all the teams in the NFC West will have their work cut out for them to simply win the division. The Green Bay Packers (7/1) were an onside kick away from playing in Arizona this year and with league MVP Aaron Rodgers back behind center, 2016 could be the year of the cheese heads. In the AFC, the favorites are, of course, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (17/2) and the Denver Broncos (12/1). Denver is one of those six teams with new head coaches.
Gary Kubiak, who served as an assistant with the Broncos in the past, takes over and will await whether or not quarterback Peyton Manning decides to retire. Other teams to watch in 2016 Super Bowl odds include the Dallas Cowboys at 10/1, Indianapolis Colts at 8/1, Philadelphia Eagles at 20/1 with the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers listed at 25/1.
Only eight teams remain in the quest for the NFL’s ultimate goal – a Super Bowl championship. Of the eight contenders, five are right back where they were last year (Carolina, Denver, Indianapolis, New England, and Seattle). There are 16 different possible exact matchups in betting odds to win the 2015 Super Bowl. Let's take a look at the top four possible pairings that could play at the University of Phoenix Stadium come February 1st.
Scenario 1: A Denver - Seattle Rematch
Only once before have two teams played in a Super Bowl one year and then returned to face each other the next. Dallas and Buffalo did it in 1992 and 1993 and neither game was very close. Denver, which was blown out by Seattle last year, upgraded its defense last off-season. Peyton Manning, the 38-year-old Broncos QB, would love another shot at the coveted ring. Super Bowl betting odds have a Broncos vs Seahawks title game at 4/1.
Scenario 2: New England - Seattle
It would make sense that the top seed in each conference advances to the Super Bowl. Both teams battled questions about how good they really were early in the season. The Patriots were 2-2 at one point and Seattle was 3-3. Both teams finished the season 12-4. This would be a great match-up between New England’s passing game against the NFL’s best secondary in Seattle. Superbowl betting odds for a Patriots vs Seahawks championship game at 9/4.
Scenario 3: Denver - Green Bay
Fans of offense would love this match-up. The Broncos and Packers are the two highest scoring teams in the NFL. The problem here is that Green Bay would have to beat Seattle. Still, a Broncos - Packers matchup would be entertaining and does have some history. In 1998, Denver QB John Elway led the Broncos to a 31-24 upset of Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXII. NFL betting odds for the Broncos vs Packers to play on February 1st are 9/1.
Scenario 4: Baltimore - Seattle
Will a wild card team play to win the Lombardi trophy this season? If one does, the Ravens are probably the best bet. Baltimore finished 10-6 in the league’s toughest division, the AFC North. The game would be a battle between two of the league’s best defenses and would give Baltimore running back Justin Forsett a chance to one-up his former team. Superbowl XLIX odds for a Ravens vs Seahawks match-up are set at a longshot price of 16/1.
2015 Super Bowl XLIX Exact Matchup Odds:
New England Patriots vs Green Bay Packers 11/2
New England Patriots vs Dallas Cowboys 9/1
New England Patriots vs Carolina Panthers 25/1
Denver Broncos vs Dallas Cowboys 12/1
Denver Broncos vs Carolina Panthers 40/1
Indianapolis Colts vs Seattle Seahawks 14/1
Indianapolis Colts vs Green Bay Packers 28/1
Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys 45/1
Indianapolis Colts vs Carolina Panthers 100/1
Baltimore Ravens vs Green Bay Packers 28/1
Baltimore Ravens vs Dallas Cowboys 50/1
Baltimore Ravens vs Carolina Panthers 125/1
Which Indianapolis defense will show up in Denver on Sunday? Will it be the one that shutout Cincinnati during the regular season and then held the same team to 254 yards and 10 points in last week’s wild card round victory? Or will it be the one that gave up 632 yards to the Pittsburgh Steelers just one week after shutting out the Bengals? Colts vs Broncos odds in Vegas are predicting the latter as NFL playoffs betting favors Denver by 9-points at home against Indianapolis with the highest total on the board at 54. Gamblers looking to play the money line would need to risk a hefty -500 on the Broncos for a straight up win while an upset by the Colts would return +350 on a $100 wager. The pass happy Indianapolis squad will bring the league’s No. 1 passing offense to Denver to face the perennial AFC West Division champion Broncos.
The two teams met way back in Week 1 of the regular season. The Colts defense didn’t fare so well against veteran Broncos QB Peyton Manning. Manning threw three first half touchdown passes, all to Julius Thomas, and then Denver hung on for a 31-24 victory. The Colts struggled to get any pressure on the not-so-nimble Manning. As a result, the future Hall of Famer was able to pick apart the Indianapolis secondary going 22-for-36 for 269 yards, the three TDs, and zero interceptions. Manning was sacked just once. If the Colts cannot get to Manning, they can forget about covering the spread as underdogs in Colts vs Broncos odds especially with the emergence of C.J. Anderson at running back. Anderson rushed for 87 yards on 13 carries and scored three times in the Broncos season-ending rout of rival Oakland. The former Cal RB finished the regular season with 849 yards. Ronnie Hillman (434 yards) gives Denver another capable back in their running game.
For Indianapolis to stay with the Broncos on Sunday, the defense will have to show up and Colts QB Andrew Luck will have to duplicate his performance from a week ago. During the regular season, Luck had trouble turning the ball over. His 22 turnovers were second to the Bears Jay Cutler. Against the Bengals, Luck was at his best completing 31-of-44 passes for 376 yards and a touchdown. Regardless, Indianapolis will have a difficult time winning in Denver where the Broncos have not lost this season. Although listed as underdogs, NFL playoffs betting trends have Indianapolis recently going a profitable 6-1 straight up and 5-0 against the spread when playing the Broncos. That being said, Colts vs Broncos odds favor Manning and Co. for good reason. Denver has gone 6-3 SU when playing Indy at Mile High and 4-2 ATS in their last six games at home.
A Kansas City Chiefs win on Sunday night football against the Denver Broncos will really create an interesting battle for the AFC West crown. That would be made even more dramatic with a San Diego victory over Baltimore next week which would leave the Chiefs, the Broncos, and the Chargers all at 8-4. Kansas City will host Denver on Sunday night from Arrowhead Stadium at 8:30pm EST which can be seen on NBC. Broncos vs Chiefs betting predictions favor Denver on the road by nearly a field goal (-2.5) against Kansas City with the total posted at 50.5. Kansas City saw its five-game win streak end last Thursday with an upset loss to division rival Oakland. The Chiefs didn’t play well but still led 20-17 with less than two minutes to play. Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr hit James Jones with a nine-yard TD pass with 1:42 remaining in the game to cap a 17-play, 80-yard drive. The Broncos, coming off a 39-36 win over Miami last week, beat the Chiefs 24-17 in the second week of the season.
Kansas City wound up 2-3 after five weeks before going on that five-game winning streak. What has improved greatly since the first five weeks of the season is the Chiefs’ defense. They are first in the NFL against the pass and hadn’t given up over 20 points in a game since week four (before the loss to Oakland). The Chiefs have running back Jamaal Charles back at full strength. Charles has 772 yards rushing and eight touchdowns and QB Alex Smith has done what has been needed of him to keep Kansas City in the thick of the division race. Should they continue, the Chiefs are very hard to beat at Arrowhead as their 4-1 record at home testifies. Although Kansas City are underdogs in Broncos vs Chiefs betting predictions, gamblers should note that head Coach Andy Reid's squad has gone 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall and 4-1 against the spread in their last five home games.
Future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning will have to contend with a very good Kansas City secondary. Manning is still among the game’s best and has a league-leading 34 TD passes. He fared pretty well against KC the first time around completing 21-of-26 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns in the Broncos 24-17 win. Manning and the rest of the offense will have to do it this time while dealing with some injuries. Denver has had to make some changes in the offensive line and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Julius Thomas suffered injuries two weeks ago. Vegas is reporting that 60% of Broncos vs Chiefs betting is taking Denver laying the points and for good reason. The Broncos have gone 6-3 ATS in their last nine games against Kansas City and are 4-1 against the point spread in their last five games when playing at Arrowhead Stadium.