Why Aren’t Sportsbooks Sold On Drew Lock And The Broncos?

Written By Ian St. Clair on 08/21/2020 - Last Updated on February 10, 2021

If you ask just about every Denver Broncos fan, there’s no doubt; Drew Lock is the guy to lead this franchise.

They’ve seen enough from his five games as the quarterback of the Broncos to know. When you factor in the offseason and maturity he’s shown, it adds to the overall team hype and optimism.

There’s no doubt that some in Broncos Country are still hedging their bets.

They need to see more before they’re sold.

They’re not completely aboard the “Drew Train.” Instead, one foot dangles off the edge, not yet planted firmly on the orange-and-blue steel floor — just in case.

Sportsbooks aren’t sold on Lock or Broncos yet

If you’ve looked at Denver’s sports betting odds at the various Colorado online betting apps since the NFL Draft, you’ve seen it’s at over/under 7.5 wins.

Clearly, the sportsbooks aren’t sold on the Lock hype.

Why is that?

As Johnny Avello, DraftKings sportsbook director of operations, said to PlayColorado:

“I want to see a little more, personally. That’s why we’re at 7.5 (wins). If he gave a yearly performance this year where he looked like he’s comfortable, it’s his spot, he reads defenses better and the Broncos end up with eight, nine wins, then that’s what you’ll see. Next year, you’ll see the Broncos at nine wins. But that’s the reason it’s 7.5 — the way he ended, will he start, will he continue to have that type of pattern through the season?”

All about the QB

When it comes to putting the futures odds together for the NFL, it’s all about the quarterback for Avello.

Given he’s been a bookmaker for 40 years, give or take, it’s a recipe that works.

“My first thought is usually ‘How much experience does he have? And can he perform in the NFL?’ That’s the first thing I look at. And the Broncos really ended the season well last year, so to me, that makes a difference on where I think they’re going to go this year. They did pretty good in the draft, but sometimes those new players make an impact and sometimes they don’t. Lock, to me, he’s the guy that’s going to make it happen or it’s not going to happen.”

Despite all of that, Avello said he’d still lean a little toward the over on the Broncos win total. That might serve as a small hint to those who want to partake in NFL betting in Colorado — take the over on Denver’s 7.5 wins.

“It’s possible if Lock has a good season and they get a little more cohesive; then, who knows, it could be nine wins for them this year.”

Competition for KC

To the chagrin of Broncos fans, it seems the Kansas City Chiefs are on the path to sustained dominance in the AFC West, the AFC and the NFL.

Thanks to Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears trading up for Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes will now haunt Denver for the next decade. It’s quite the reversal of the 1980s and ’90s when the Broncos had John Elway and Kansas City had Elvis Grbac and Steve Bono.

The hope is Lock is a little better than what the Chiefs had.

Avello said there’s a chance Denver and even the Los Angeles Chargers could compete with the Chiefs this season.

“I’ve been putting up odds on football for many years. The Chiefs last year, if you want to look back at the final game, it’s very possible they could have lost that game … a lot of games. Almost all of those playoff games they were down. I just think they had the magic last year. Will they have it this year? I don’t know. We’ll see. There’s going to be a lot of teams competing with the Chiefs. The Ravens, certainly. The 49ers. Most likely the Cowboys and Saints. In their own division? I could see the Broncos and Chargers certainly giving them a run also. I don’t think it’s going to be easy (for Kansas City), let’s put it that way.”

To the pleasure of Broncos Country, one team you didn’t see mentioned is the Las Vegas Raiders.

“I’d like to think really positively about them because they’re our team here in town (Las Vegas). But I’m not exactly sure that team is ready to compete with the others, I don’t think. Hopefully they have a good season, but I just think they’re maybe a year away.”

Can Lock and the Broncos build off a strong 2019 finish?

The excitement is back for the Broncos.

Not just in Denver, but the national media has taken notice again, too.

Can Lock build off his five games to end the 2019 regular season?

Most of the fanbase seems to think so.

The organization hopes so. It would like to have the days of quarterback fool’s gold hidden in a dark corner of a crawl space.

The sportsbooks aren’t sure.

Perhaps that’s where you have an advantage and can take a little extra cash from the betting apps.

Ian St. Clair Avatar
Written by
Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

View all posts by Ian St. Clair