There are two distinct groups following the Denver Broncos this season. There are those Denver backers who have suffered through consecutive close losses to the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers. Then you have those that backed Denver, they are counting their winnings after the Broncos got the point spread decisions in both their opening games.
In their Monday Night Football opener they got three points on the spread while losing to the Tennessee Titans by two, 16-14. Last Sunday, in Pittsburgh, the Broncos were getting 6½ points on the line and lost by five, 26-21. In that game, at Heinz Field, the Broncos also lost their top receiver and starting quarterback.
Drew Lock will miss multiple weeks with an injured throwing shoulder, while Courtland Sutton is out for the season.
Which brings us to this question, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come calling on Sunday are there enough Broncos left to compete against Tom Brady? The new Buccaneers quarterback is known to hold grudges, and normally gets pay back. The Broncos ended Brady and the Patriots season in the 2015 AFC Championship Game. Denver went on to beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 that season, but Brady has twice gotten revenge on Denver since that postseason loss. Outsourcing them by a combined 57-19 in wins during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
With Lock sidelined, the Broncos will turn to veteran backup Jeff Driskel, who ran the offense last week after Lock was knocked out of action in Pittsburgh.
Driskel is capable of having a day good enough to result in a Denver victory, while the Bucs are perhaps the most overrated team in the league. With the acquisition of Brady, the Bucs became an instant Super Bowl contender. Odds before the season began had Tampa Bay winning Super Bowl LV set at 10 to 1, only the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens had lower odds.
After the Bucs lost their opener by a lopsided score to Drew Brees and his New Orleans Saints, questions on whether Brady still had it cascaded through the football world. He met that challenge while guiding the Bucs to a win in their home opener last Sunday, and now looks to move Tampa Bay into the ranks of a threat with a victory in Denver.
What we have here is an undermanned Denver team good enough to stay within the point spread in both their season opening games. When a team is on a streak of beating the point spread without a straight-up win, it is more likely that team gets a victory on the scoreboard before they lose a point spread decision.
This week, Denver is getting points at home and the Bucs have not yet proven they can win as a road favorite while collecting a majority of the wagers. Conversely, the Broncos have proven they can win both at home and away when getting points on the spread.
Denver is a team hungry for a straight-up win, and if that process includes a few more point spread victories before they get it , that will work just fine.
Qoxhi Picks: Denver Broncos (+6½) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers