Why Broncos’ Futures Odds Exploded After Their First 2 Games

The Broncos were never predicted to win the Super Bowl. At the beginning of the NFL season, the Chiefs had some of the lowest odds in the futures category. Oscillating between +500 and +600, Colorado online sportsbooks predicted the Chiefs had about a 15% chance of winning the Super Bowl.

But once the season began, oddsmakers didn’t have to rely on theory. They could see which pieces of theoretical gameplay data translated to the field. That’s why odds change throughout the season. The Chiefs odds remain around +500 to +600. It still has some of the lowest odds in several Colorado sportsbooks.

DenverBroncos Odds to win the Super Bowl

Conversely, the Broncos’ chances at a Super Bowl win decreased. Here are the Broncos odds we reported at the end of July and the odds at the end of September:

 Broncos Futures - End of JulyChance to Win - End of JulyBroncos Futures - End of September Chance to Win - End of September
Fox Bet+5,0001.96%+10,0000.99%
SBK*+4,9002.00%+13,985 to +30,2030.33%-0.71%
Circa Sports+6,0001.64%+20,0000.50%
Bet Wildwood+4,9002.00%+4,900 - Just to make playoffs2.00%

*SBK lists the Broncos blank between the Vikings and the Jaguars.

The Broncos weren’t standout stars before, but the odds of them winning the Super Bowl dropped across the board. Two weeks on the field have not been kind to the Broncos. What’s happened to their performance and end-season outlook?

Broncos Injuries

Nothing hurts a football team more than injuries. There’s a roster full of alternatives. But there are a few star players who are difficult to replace. And the Broncos lost three of them to injuries.

Von Miller

Von Miller has had a rough year. He caught the coronavirus and was lucky enough to recover enough to play the 2020 season. Then he rolled his ankle during practice before the season began. While he hopes he can return in December, medical experts estimate his recovery will take four to six months. Whether Von Miller returns in three or six months remains to be seen. But he has several franchise records for sacks.

He’s good at taking down the other side’s quarterback. Losing him is bad for the Broncos.

Courtland Sutton

Courtland Sutton joined the Broncos in 2018. In 2019, he got he earned a Pro Bowl selection and became the fastest Broncos player to do so. His performance during the Chargers game in which he caught a 70-yard touchdown helped the Broncos win their first game of the season.

And he tore his ACL during the Steelers game. The Broncos’ star wide receiver is out for the season. That’s a big hit to an offensive line that can’t afford a poor performance.

Drew Lock

Drew Lock was thrust into the spotlight during his rookie year in 2019. He began the 2019 season with a thumb injury, but he brought his A-game when he returned. He won four of his last five games as a rookie starter. Only one other rookie Broncos quarterback has reached that milestone: John Elway.

Then Drew Lock tore his shoulder in the first quarter of the Steelers game. He’ll be out for three to five weeks.

Broncos Performance

The Broncos’ injuries were bad enough. But their performance was lacking to begin with. Their 2019 season was full of disappointing losses that often included blowing early leads. The 2020 draft created new hopes for the Broncos’ offensive capabilities. Instead, the Broncos lost three star players and their first two games.

The Broncos were the favorite to win against the Tennessee Titans. Sportsbook odds aren’t gospel, but it was hard to reject the new hope in a rejuvenated Broncos roster. But Broncos’ first loss called the Broncos’ ability to win into question. The Broncos were never going to win against the Steelers. But two consecutive losses can’t make oddsmakers confident in the Broncos’ future performance.

Unknown Oddsmaker Magic

Many variables oddsmakers consider are available to the public. Team performances, histories, and rosters reveal insight into their chance to win. But there’s at least one variable that we don’t have access to: sportsbook cash flows.

Besides the odds, oddsmakers also know how much cash bettors are depositing on each side of the betting line. Oddsmakers must ensure:

  • The sportsbook has enough money to pay winning bets.
  • The sportsbook is profitable.

Sportsbooks make money when they accept more money than they payout. They use statistics to figure out how much money they’ll make across all their betting lines. Since statistics include room for error, sportsbooks won’t “win” on every line. But they can figure out what their likely take-home is after factoring error in. They can tweak the odds to entice bettors to put more money on one side of the line. That way, oddsmakers can balance risk and keep sportsbooks profitable.

We don’t have internal figures, so we have no idea how much oddsmakers adjust based on cash needs. Unless the game is live, they’re probably not going to switch the underdog and the favorite. But they may adjust their odds in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to the game to spread their risk across both sides of the line.

Why Did The Broncos Odds Increase So Much?

Oddsmakers don’t seem to think the Broncos are going to win the Super Bowl–especially now that they have real gameplay to predict the Broncos’ performance. But bettors may be wondering why oddsmakers would even offer +10,000 odds. The odds are already astronomically low. Besides, a $100 bet would pay $10,000, and accepting the risk of the Broncos coming through doesn’t seem worth it.

But only one team can win a futures bet. All 32 NFL teams are represented in Colorado sportsbooks’ futures sections. So, sportsbooks can rely on devoted fans to spread money across those teams. That can generate enough money to cover the final winner.

Oddsmakers can also adjust odds as needed. They can reduce odds to make them less attractive and reduce payouts. Or they can increase odds to make them more exciting and increase payouts. Either way, they can maintain the delicate balance between offering great odds and remaining profitable.

The Broncos futures are probably determined by the real world. How many other NFL teams have three critical players injured and two losses in addition to a poor performance history? (Sorry, Broncos fans–I only criticize because I care.) But there are variables behind closed doors that we don’t see from here. There are probably a million more that we don’t have access to, either.

But if Colorado sports betting sites think a Broncos Super Bowl win is a long shot, it’s not a profit-driven conclusion. It’s because there’s reason to be skeptical.

About the Author

Christopher Gerlacher

Christopher Gerlacher is a freelance writer tucked into the foothills in Colorado Springs. He works as a content writer, a professional resume writer, and authors search engine optimized professional articles in multiple industries.