Russell Wilson becomes the second-highest paid QB in the NFL and the highest-paid in Broncos history. Can he deliver success for Denver?
On March 8, 2022, the Seattle Seahawks sent Wilson and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Broncos for Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, and two first-round selections in 2022 and 2023.
Now, from September 1, 2022, the main man in Denver has become the second-highest paid QB in the NFL and the highest-paid Bronco of all time. That’s right, he’s just secured a staggering $245 million contract extension that includes $165 million guaranteed. Not bad, eh?
So, what does this incredible contract improvement for Russell Wilson mean in the sports betting world? Well, it means that people are taking Denver a lot more seriously as we head into the new season.
The Odds: Super Bowl, Division, and Win Total
Broncos Super Bowl Odds (+1800 at DraftKings)
With +1800 odds at DraftKings, this gives the Broncos the eighth-best odds behind the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco 49ers.
Considering their results last year, DraftKings views the Wilson-led Broncos highly.
We know this because two teams—the Chiefs and Chargers—are above them and in their division. The fourth team is the Raiders with +4000 odds.
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Broncos Division Winner Odds (+260 at BetRivers)
As expected after looking at the Super Bowl odds, the Broncos have the third-best odds to win the AFC West at +260. The Chiefs are +175, and the Chargers are at +220.
It’s looking like DraftKings has an inclination that the Wild Card teams will have members of the AFC West as the Broncos’ odds to make the playoffs are -145.
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With a 17-game season, DraftKings has the total win line at 10—the inverse of their success last year. There are 11 teams that have a projected win total of 10 or more.
What Wilson Brings to the Broncos?
In 2021, Wilson missed some games due to a finger injury. Some would argue Wilson came back too early. He was injured in Week 5 and came back in Week 10.
Regarding a final stat line, Wilson had a 64.8% completion percentage, 3,113 yards, and 25 touchdowns. Where Wilson failed to produce was with his legs, carrying the ball just 17 times for 186 yards and two touchdowns.
For perspective, in 2020, Wilson had 30 rushes but went for 511 yards.
At age 33, Wilson isn’t getting any younger, and perhaps his speed is diminishing a bit.
Compared to the Broncos, the Seahawks arguably had the better duo of receivers with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf but didn’t exactly perform well statistically. Again, this could be due to the finger injury, which has some merit.
Going Back to 2020…
Going back to 2020, Wilson had over 4,200 yards when the schedule was 16 games and had 40 touchdown strikes. With the Broncos, the hope is that Wilson pushes the ball downfield a bit more.
Per Pro Football Focus, 42.8% of Wilson’s throws were 0 to 9 yards downfield, whereas only 18.8% of his passes were 20+ yards.
As a Seahawk, Wilson usually flirted with 40% or more of his passes being short, but this could be because of the notorious offensive line problems the Seahawks had for years.
The Broncos have two receivers, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, who can get open downfield. Wilson is also partial to throwing downfield on the sideline, with 10% of the 18.8% being deep throws to the left.
Without a solid tight end option—though better than what the Seahawks started each week—it’ll be intriguing to see how Wilson’s game changes, if at all.
If you extrapolate Wilson’s stats across 17 games in 2021, he would have thrown for nearly 3,800 yards and 30 touchdowns—a performance that supersedes Lock/Bridgewater, especially considering the injury.
Before the injury, Wilson threw just one interception.
Bet Them Or Fade Them?
With the addition of Wilson, the Broncos are trending upward. The trade compensation was more than fine for a franchise quarterback. The Seahawks used the first draft pick on an offensive lineman, so now, the Broncos only owe one more first-round choice.
However, their division’s strength will be a difficult hurdle for this team. The win total of 10 seems to be right on in terms of what we’d project. Therefore, we’d recommend betting the under or not betting it at all.
At +1600, these are good odds, but there just doesn’t appear to be a path for the Broncos to make it to the Super Bowl with their division and the overall strength of the AFC.
Here’s what we recommend betting:
- Super Bowl (+1600): No
- Win Total of 10: Under
- Division Winner (+260): A fine bet
We project a 10-7 record for the Broncos and making the postseason.
Bet on the Broncos today at the online sportsbooks in Colorado here.