MONDAY NIGHT GAME
DENVER BRONCOS at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Denver Broncos -6.5 (-110)
Seattle Seahawks +6.5 (-110)
Ex-Seahawk MVP quarterback Russell Wilson will be playing his very first game in a new uniform in his old stomping ground at Seattle, which is the perfect script for an MNF opener. Adding Wilson in the offseason makes Denver into an automatic Super Bowl contender, that is, assuming his injuries are fully healed and he stays healthy for 17+ games.
Many believe that all the Broncos were missing in recent seasons has been the leader, and Wilson brings multi-dimensional skills and leadership to a team where that's been severely lacking. We're not yet convinced Wilson will shine as a long-term prospect nor do we know whether Denver is playoff bound. It's a very long season ahead and they AFC West opposition poses a brutal obstacle. Nonetheless, the Broncos should roll in this first game and cover the numbers as it's one of the easiest opponents on their schedule.
On Monday Night Football, Denver opens up against a badly-depleted Seahawks unit that wasn't good when Wilson was still with the team, and now starts an ugly duckling of a used car in Geno Smith. We're not Geno haters, but he's probably in for a long season in Seattle where things are likely to go bad quickly.
Any advantages enjoyed by the Seahawks, including what used to be the best home-field-advantage in the NFL is gone with Wilson who obviously is quite familiar with the conditions. Perhaps some ex-teammates have insider info on Wilson's offensive habits. But he also can exploit a soft Seattle defense likely to give up lots of yards and points.
The Bottom Line: This should be a strong debut breakout game for Denver. It's for usual for us contrarian-minded bettors to lay this many points in unproven situations, but this is more of a fade Seattle spot. Look for Denver's solid defense to be the difference in a Denver win and cover.
Our Pick: Denver -6.5 (game)