Betting Odds For Denver Broncos’ Week 1 Starting Quarterback

Posted on July 14, 2021
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The Denver Broncos have a promising young group of receivers, but those receivers were injured for much of last year. The ability of the Broncos to pair a young quarterback with young receivers has been thwarted at various stages of the process.

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This invites a larger question about whether it is worth it for Denver to stick with a project at quarterback or find a proven veteran on the trade market.

With training camp just a few weeks away and preseason games roughly one month away, the NFL marketplace – and what the Broncos can realistically attain in a trade – will change. That is something to keep in mind when you consider who will be this team’s Week 1 starting quarterback. Let’s take a look at some Fanduel Sportsbook NFL odds.

Drew Lock

Odds At FanDuel Sportsbook: +145

The incumbent in this race is Drew Lock, whom the Broncos gambled on in the draft and has stumbled out of the gate in his first few NFL seasons. It is true that Josh Allen was erratic in 2019 before putting all the pieces together in 2020 and playing at an MVP level with the Buffalo Bills.

It is true that it can take a few seasons before a young quarterback puts everything in the right place. Look at Baker Mayfield, who struggled in his rookie season with the Cleveland Browns but took a big step forward last year, leading his team to a playoff win and very nearly to the AFC Championship Game.

The Broncos would love to see Drew Lock take this next big leap, but is it likely to occur? Lock has looked very unsteady on the field in live-action. He has very briefly displayed some moments of quality, but those moments don’t last, and Lock usually makes a mistake that overshadows any of the good things he does.

Yet, the Broncos have decided to stick with him. They haven’t offered him in a trade, and they didn’t bring in a bigger name to join him in the quarterback room. Based purely on the confidence the organization has placed in him, Lock should probably still be the favorite to start in Week 1, though he certainly doesn’t have this job nailed down and will have to play reasonably well in the preseason to fend off the next man on the list:

Teddy Bridgewater

Odds At FanDuel Sportsbook: +145

The Teddy Bridgewater journey through the NFL has been a long and winding road. Bridgewater has suffered a severe injury, but he has come back from it. He hasn’t been a brilliant quarterback, but he still carries considerable value as a high-end backup and serviceable starter. Bridgewater could reasonably be compared to Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tyrod Taylor, quarterbacks good enough to start for various NFL teams but nowhere close to being elite quarterbacks. They can take over if another quarterback gets injured and provide competent, stable leadership. However, asking them to lead a team to the Super Bowl over the course of a full season is way too big an ask – it is beyond their current skill sets and capabilities, at least if measured by their NFL track records. Bridgewater is a mobile quarterback who can make plays out of the pocket, but he isn’t a devastatingly effective pocket passer. He doesn’t have the accuracy of many of his NFL contemporaries. Bridgewater could very realistically challenge Lock for the starting job in Denver, but it will depend a lot on how well Lock performs in training camp and in the preseason. Remember that there were no preseason games last year because of the pandemic. Preseason games return this August, so it might be an adjustment for players who didn’t have to deal with preseason games a year ago.

The other point which has to be made here is that the Broncos have a great defense with Von Miller and other high-end players. They want to maximize Miller’s remaining years. If starting Drew Lock appears to be a move which hurts Denver’s ability to win right now, Bridgewater could certainly be elevated to the starting spot in time for Week 1. It’s hardly a likelihood, but it is a legitimate possibility and should be viewed accordingly.

Any Other

Odds At FanDuel Sportsbook: +220

The Aaron Rodgers scenario emerges here. The Broncos and the Las Vegas Raiders were both mentioned as rumored possible landing spots for Rodgers in a potential trade with the Green Bay Packers when the rift between the team and Rodgers was reported at the NFL draft back in late April. There was a lot of speculation that the Broncos would trade their No. 9 pick to Green Bay with Rodgers being involved, or that they would draft a quarterback so that they could trade it to the Packers.

That did not happen. Denver drafted cornerback Patrick Surtain with the ninth pick, clearly not interested in a different direction at quarterback. However, as the summer moves along and the stalemate between the Packers and Rodgers continues, it could be that Green Bay will be backed into a corner with Rodgers and will have to ship him in a trade.

The Packers might feel they are at a point where they have to unload Rodgers now rather than later in order to get maximum value in a possible deal. If the Broncos remain the main trade partner in a Rodgers deal, this could become a better scenario than a lot of people currently think. It could become the biggest story of the preseason.

Brett Rypien

Odds At FanDuel Sportsbook: +1600

Rypien is not a serious candidate to be the starter if we are being entirely realistic and honest. However, he did get a solid amount of live in-game snaps last season and is, therefore, better prepared to play than a lot of other third-string quarterbacks in the NFL.

Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock both have injury histories as NFL quarterbacks, so that one fact might still enable Lock to crack the Week 1 roster, but of course, the Broncos and all 31 other NFL teams don’t want to have to deal with multiple injuries in their quarterback room.

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