Sports fans know injuries are a part of sports.
No matter how hard teams try, they can never prepare for them.
What teams try to do is overcome the injuries.
When it comes to the 2020 Denver Broncos, and betting on the Broncos, the number of injuries is downright absurd.
It’s not just the list of injuries but who is injured and how severe.
To show Broncos Country that it is, in fact, 2020: Von Miller was lost to a fluke foot injury before the season even started. That was followed by receiver Courtland Sutton injuring his shoulder a few days later. The “good” news was it wasn’t as severe as it could have been.
Then cornerback A.J. Bouye and running back Phillip Lindsay were injured in the season opener against the Tennessee Titans.
Then Sutton tore up his knee and was done for the year in the 26-21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Oh, and to add a little salt to the pound of salt that is 2020 — quarterback Drew Lock is out three to five weeks with a shoulder injury.
With Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers set to come Mile High, where does Denver go from here?
What do the sportsbooks think?
By now, we know what the fans and the organization think.
But what about the sportsbooks? We know they weren’t sold on Lock and the Broncos before the injuries. But what about now?
Mainly, what impact do all these injuries have on the odds for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers?
As Johnny Avello, director of operations at DraftKings, told PlayColorado:
“The defense was already decimated with multiple injuries and now with Lock and Sutton out, the state of affairs appears dismal. For this coming weekend’s game, the Bucs would have initially been close to a 3-point favorite but we opened the line Bucs -6 because of all the wounded.”
According to Jay Kornegay, the SuperBook goes week-to-week on its odds. Kornegay is the executive vice president of operations at Westgate SuperBook and also happens to be a Colorado native.
The SuperBook has a deal with The Lodge Casino in Black Hawk and should be live for Colorado betting soon.
As Kornegay said:
“We go week to week because we have to see how the backups are performing. So it’s not something that you can just throw out there and say, ‘Oh, this is going to be a 2.5-point impact on the line because of these injuries.’ It is this week. But we’ll have to see how they perform — if things get worse, things get better. So we’ll base it off of their performance against the Buccaneers and go from there.”
What if the Broncos didn’t have the injuries?
To make Broncos fans a little more miserable, let’s play the what-if game.
What if it’s not 2020 and Denver doesn’t have all of these injuries to so many key players? What would the line look like on Sunday against Brady and Tampa Bay?
According to Kornegay:
“If everything is the same — let’s just say we do have Miller, we do have Sutton, we do have Lock and we do have Bouye, he looked really sharp. He looked really good, and I was like, ‘That’s a nice find right there.’ And then he gets hurt. But all of those guys together, there’s probably about a 2.5 adjustment on the line. Meaning that if we had all of those guys, the Broncos would maybe only be about a 3.5-point underdog to the Buccaneers this week rather than a 6-point underdog.”
If you’re looking for some positives, at least at the SuperBook, the Broncos have still opened as an early road favorite against the New York Jets. That’s the Thursday Night Football game for Week 4.
As Kornegay said:
“We just posted Week 4, so the Broncos we posted as a 2.5-point favorite over the Jets. Again, if it was under normal circumstances, the Broncos would be about a 5-point favorite at this time.”
Super Bowl odds
As for the Super Bowl betting odds, they’re even heavier underdogs after these injuries.
Right after the NFL Draft, DraftKings had Denver at +4,000 to win the Super Bowl. In mid-June, it jumped to +5,000.
According to Avello:
“In the future book, the Broncos have been raised to 100-1 to win the SB and 50-1 to win the conference.”
Teams know to expect injuries.
It’s part of the NFL.
It’s part of sports.
But when it comes to the 2020 Broncos, this is absurd.
In the words of Avello, who has over 40 years of bookmaking:
“Through the years, I have seen teams take major hits early in the season, but this is pretty awful.”