Broncos-Cardinals TNF Betting Preview: Will Denver’s Road Woes Continue?

Broncos-Cardinals TNF Betting Preview: Will Denver’s Road Woes Continue? article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Josh Rosen, Bradley Chubb

Betting odds: Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals

  • Spread: Broncos -1.5
  • Over/Under: 42
  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX/NFL Network

>> All odds as of Wednesday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: This line has been a roller coaster since opening. At Pinnacle, the Broncos opened as a 2.5-point favorite on Sunday night, only to see the line move to a PK within about 20 minutes.

The line gradually moved back to DEN -2.5 by Monday morning and stayed there until Tuesday evening, at which point a reverse line move on the Cardinals caused a big jump from 2.5 to 1. It sat at 1.5 when this was written.

Two-thirds of bettors like the Broncos, but there’s clearly some love for Josh Rosen and the Cardinals if the number is right (see live betting data here). — Mark Gallant

Trends to Know: Under Vance Joseph, the Broncos are 1-9 straight up and against the spread on the road, but those results don’t do Denver’s struggles justice.

The Broncos have had 54 total drives in the second halves of their 10 road games under Joseph, and only one of those series ended with Denver having the lead (Week 3, 2017 vs. Buffalo). As I’m sure you can guess, Denver ended up losing that game … by double-digits. — Evan Abrams

Home underdogs on a short week — six or fewer days between games — have gone 71-91-6 (44%) ATS since 2003. — John Ewing

Did you know? The Cardinals are averaging 13.7 points this season and are 3-2-1 ATS through six games. Since 2010, only one other team has averaged fewer than two TDs per game and been above .500 ATS entering their seventh game.

That team was the 2011 Kansas City Chiefs, led by Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton and Tyler Palko. The Chiefs finished that season 7-9 SU, 9-7 ATS and averaged 13.3 PPG. — Evan Abrams

Biggest mismatch: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Chris Harris Jr.

Per Pro Football Focus, Larry Fitzgerald has run 79.6% of his routes from the slot this season. He has largely been ineffective, averaging just 5.8 targets and 3.7 receptions per game.

Now he’ll draw an unfavorable matchup in the slot against Chris Harris Jr., who’s allowing just 0.64 yards per cover snap this year — the 10th-lowest mark among qualifying cornerbacks. — Justin Bailey

Which team is healthier? Denver Broncos

The Broncos are a little banged up on defense, as safety Dymonte Thomas (chest), pass rusher Shane Ray (knee) and corner Adam Jones (leg) should be considered questionable for Thursday’s game.

Their offensive line also isn’t 100%: Right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee) could join right guard Ron Leary (Achilles, IR) on the bench.

This is still better than what the Cardinals are dealing with, as 14 players were limited or didn’t practice at all to start the week.

Among those, the players thought to be at risk of missing Thursday night’s matchup include offensive linemen Justin Pugh (hand), Mike Iupati (head) and Jeremy Vujnovich (hamstring), while secondary contributors Tre Boston (shoulder/ribs) and Jamar Taylor (back) are also not guaranteed to suit up.

Note: Info as of 12 p.m. ET Wednesday. See our Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: Emmanuel Sanders has established himself as the Broncos’ No. 1 receiver with Case Keenum under center. Overall, he leads the team in target share (23%), market share of air yards (25%) and is tied with Demaryius Thomas among the Broncos’ wide receivers with three targets inside the 10-yard line.

Up next is a matchup against a Cardinals defense that has asked Patrick Peterson to play only four total snaps in the slot this season … where Sanders has lined up on 56% of his snaps. He boasts a strong +2.8 Projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings in our FantasyLabs Pro Models. — Ian Hartitz

Bet to watch: Cardinals +1.5

The public is firmly on the side of the Broncos in this game. I am not. Denver has struggled mightily away from Mile High and now has a short week to get ready for a trip to Arizona.

The Cardinals are improving defensively, and their offense is better with Josh Rosen at the helm. I’m taking the home team and the points against a reeling Denver team, which might be starting to think about a quarterback change itself. — BlackJack Fletcher

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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