New York Jets (0-2) at Denver Broncos (2-0)
Coming into the season, I thought the Broncos could be a playoff team in the AFC, with an improved quarterback situation, a healthier and more experienced receiving corps, and a defense that got Von Miller back and significantly upgraded their biggest weakness at cornerback. They have started 2-0 and, while their schedule has been a big factor, as they’ve gotten to face the Giants and Jaguars, it was still good to see them take care of business, winning both games by double digits on the road.
The schedule doesn’t get any harder for the Broncos this week, as the pathetic Jets come to town for their home opener, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Broncos will cover this 10.5 point spread. Already at 2-0, the Broncos could overlook an 0-2 Jets team, especially with their first real game on deck, a game against the Ravens. Teams also tend to struggle when playing their first home game in week 3, covering at just a 33.3% rate in a week 3 home opener over the past thirty seasons.
I’m not entirely sure why that is, but it does make some sense that teams would be tired after back-to-back home games to start the season and then relax a little in their home opener, leading to relative struggles. There is enough line value here for the Broncos to still seem like the right side, but I don’t have any confidence in them covering this big spread, as the Jets could easily make this game closer than expected, especially since the Broncos are without key players like Bradley Chubb and Josey Jewell.
Denver Broncos 24 New York Jets 13
Pick against the spread: Denver -10.5