The Seattle Seahawks come into Denver as 3 point underdogs to the Broncos in a rematch of Super Bowl 48. The Seahawks defense emerged as an elite unit in that Super Bowl stifling the record setting Broncos offense led by Peyton Manning. A lot has changed for both teams in the five years since that game. Both teams come into this season rebuilding after not making the playoffs last year.
The Seahawks come into this season with low expectations. Their defense is rebuilt without former defensive stars Cliff Avril, Sheldon Richardson Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman and Cam Chancellor. There are questions surrounding their offensive line as well. The Seahawks struggled down the stretch last year and ended up missing the playoffs for the first time in five years. It will be interesting to see if Pete Carroll will be able to rejuvenate his players effort or if they have grown tired of his antics. I would go more towards the latter. This is a team that has not been the same since losing to the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Former players have mentioned no longer believing in Pete Carroll after the decision to throw the ball at the 1 yard line resulting in Malcolm Butler intercepting the ball to seal the Patriots win. This locker room has further been shattered when QB Russell Wilson getting a high paying contract was a higher priority than doing the same for the defensive players. The defense was the reason they were winning so they felt they were the ones who should be paid. Now the Seahawks have a bunch of money tied up in their offense with Wilson and WR Doug Baldwin and all of their defensive stars have retired or moved on to other teams. Their defense no longer has the depth it once had at any of their positions. Their best player FS Earl Thomas has decided to report to the team but that may not end up in the best benefit of the team. He will not be in football shape as he has held out for a significant amount of time and he will not have any chemistry with the new teammates around him. I certainly see this team struggling this year as I mentioned here I am betting under their win total. This is one of the games I see them losing.
I do not think the Broncos will be great at all this year. The Seahawks lack of defensive depth combined with the high altitude in Denver makes me believe that Denver will look very good in this game. People are giving Denver high expectations after signing Case Keenum in the off-season. They saw Keenum lead the Vikings to an NFC Championship and think he can do the same with the Broncos. The only difference is the Vikings defense last year was elite, this years broncos defense is not. I do see the Broncos looking elite for one game however. Both offensively and defensively. They should get off to a quick start and force Seattle into passing situations which plays into what the Broncos want to do defensively. Since this is the first game of the season, players are not yet in game shape. As we saw last night players are more likely to get tired easily. This is also an issue in the high altitude in Denver. These combined factors makes me like the Broncos in every facet. I believe they will cover first half and game. I also think they are a good price at moneyline -150. They should be a great teaser leg as well. Bet them any way you can.
Denver Broncos -3 (-105)
Denver Broncos 1H -1.5 (-115)