Broncos vs. Jaguars Odds & NFL Predictions For Week 2: How We’re Betting This Spread
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images. Pictured: Teddy Bridgewater.
|Broncos Odds||-6 (-110)|
|Jaguars Odds||+6 (-110)|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
Not many folks outside of Denver and Jacksonville will be watching this game, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a little money while we check out the other games, just like we did on both of these teams last week.
The Broncos are looking to start 2-0 in a surprise early-season push, buoyed by a stout defense that dominated the Giants in Week 1. Things weren’t so rosy for the Jaguars, who got rocked by the forlorn Texans, a team many expected to go winless or close on the season.
Can Urban Meyer and the Jags turn things around and get Trevor Lawrence his first win as a pro, or will Denver beat up on another weak opponent and stay undefeated?
Broncos D Leads the Way
The Broncos might actually be a pretty tough team in 2021. This is a team I had my eye on as a possible worst-to-first division winner, and so far, things are looking pretty good.
Just like the word Denver, everything for the Broncos starts with the D.
When everyone’s on the field and things are going right, this can be the best defense in all of football. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are as fearsome a one-two pass rush punch as anyone, and the secondary has been rebuilt with Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby and rookie Patrick Surtain II at corner next to outstanding safety Justin Simmons.
Darby and Chubb are injury question marks for this one, but the Broncos are so deep and loaded that the defense should still be dominant. Vic Fangio is among the league’s best playcallers on D, and this team never let the Giants get things moving in Week 1. It started with repeated wins in the trenches and that should be the case again here.
The offense in Denver is more of a just-do-enough thing. That’s where Teddy Bridgewater comes in. Bridgewater is the perfect game manager for this offense. He may not have the perceived upside of Drew Lock, but he will take care of the ball and get it into the hands of Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon and let them do the rest.
Experienced bettors love to back Bridgewater, or “Teddy Covers,” as we call him. And for good reason — the man is a ridiculous 36-14 against the spread for his career, an insane 72% cover rate as a starter. Even without Jerry Jeudy, Bridgewater and the Broncos are built to handle a bad team like the Jaguars.
Things Aren’t Going Great In Jacksonville
Ah yes, the other team in this game — the one that just lost to a team some thought might go 0-17.
It’s hard to imagine how much worse things could look for Urban Meyer out of the gates. Meyer appears to be struggling to make the transition from college to the pros. There was the wonky Tim Tebow signing and the silly quarterback “competition” between the mustachioed Gardner Minshew and obvious-day-one-starter Trevor Lawrence. There was the COVID nonsense too, plus some other locker room rumblings, and you have to wonder if these grown men professionals will respond to Meyer the way his college kids used to.
Trevor Lawrence had quite a debut. Lawrence threw three touchdowns, but he also threw three interceptions and put the Jags behind the eight ball all game long. Against a team as bad as the Texans, your only real job is not to lose the game and everything else will take care of itself. Lawrence lost the game — remarkably, it was the first regular-season loss of his career at any level of football. Lucky for him, he’s about to get a lot of practice.
The Jaguars are bad. They’re bad on offense and bad on defense, probably bottom five or six in the league at both. Jacksonville’s blocking is poor, and the defense is at a talent deficit at almost every position, especially on the line. This is a team that’s going to be playing from behind a lot this season, and playing from behind against Denver means letting the Broncos pass rush loose against a bad line and forcing Lawrence to throw into a talented secondary.
This line has moved in Denver’s direction after opening below a field goal before Week 1, but there’s still value on the Broncos.
Remember how Bridgewater is 36-14 ATS as a starter? He’s even better on the road. Teddy Covers is a surreal 22-3 ATS on the road lifetime, an unbelievable 88% win rate.
You have to really squint to talk yourself into the Jaguars. It’s basically a contrarian play and a bet on Trevor Lawrence finding a backdoor cover.
I’m not taking that bet, not against this nasty defense. Denver is a perfect addition to your teaser with this line at six or below, meaning you only need the league’s best D to beat up on a shaky offense and take care of business.
We’ll play them for the cover here, trusting the defense to get the job done. And in the end, we’re trusting Bridgewater to do what he does best: Teddy Covers.
Pick: Broncos -5.5 (-118) at FanDuel