Denver Broncos (2-4) at Arizona Cardinals (1-5)
The Broncos are a tough team to evaluate. They won their first 2 games, but by a combined 4 points against the Seahawks and Raiders. Since then, they’ve lost their last 4, but they’ve also been competitive with both the Chiefs and the Rams, who are two of the best teams in the league. They lost by double digits in both Baltimore and New York, but Baltimore has played at a high level this year as well, while that Jets loss came in a terrible spot, sandwiched between the Chiefs and Rams on their schedule. They’ve also won the first down rate battle in 4 of 6 games and have a +3.01% first down rate differential on the season, with 133 first downs to 118 allowed, and they rank 13th in DVOA as well.
On paper, this is a solid team talentwise and one that shouldn’t have much trouble covering against a terrible Arizona team in a game they pretty much just have to win to cover as 1.5-point road favorites. However, they’re also poorly coached and have been prone to let down games following big games, like the one they had last week against the Rams, especially on the road, where they are just 1-8 (1-8 ATS) under head coach Vance Joseph. I’m taking the Broncos, but I can’t take them with any confidence.
Denver Broncos 20 Arizona Cardinals 17
Pick against the spread: Denver -1.5