Week 1 of the NFL schedule provided a showcase for a few revenge games, like Baker Mayfield against the Browns and Joe Flacco against the Ravens, but neither of those matchups were as highly anticipated as Russell Wilson taking on his old team in prime time.
- Moneyline: Seahawks +240, Broncos -300
- Against The Spread: Broncos -6.5 (-110), Seahawks +6.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: 44 points, Over -110, Under -110
The Broncos face the Seahawks on "Monday Night Football" and Denver is a 6.5-point favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook. Wilson, who won a Super Bowl with Seattle, was traded in the offseason for a haul of picks and players. Now he gets a shot at head coach Pete Carroll and the franchise that drafted him a decade ago.
Expectations for the Seahawks and Broncos are vastly different this season, in large part due to Wilson’s move from the NFC West to the AFC West. Denver’s win total is set at 9.5 and Seattle’s is just 5.5.
Wilson’s offensive line protection in the Mile High City is expected to be better than it was in the Pacific Northwest and he has a slew of talented skill position players to pass to, including Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon and Albert Okwuegbunam. The Broncos also finished with a top-10 defense in terms of yardage and points in 2021, though they missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
The hope is that a new quarterback (Wilson), a new head (Nathaniel Hacket), and new ownership (the Walton-Penner group) can end that postseason drought. And the journey to do so starts on Monday night.
Seattle, meanwhile, retooled around quarterback Geno Smith, who went 1-2 in three starts for the team last season and beat out Drew Lock, who came back in the Wilson trade, in camp for the starting job. The front office brought back DK Metcalf and running back Rahsaad Penny and drafted tackle Charles Cross and running back Kenneth Walker III. The 70-year-old Carroll is not interested in a rebuild.
Lumen Field is a difficult place for opponents to play. Wilson, of course, is plenty familiar with the field but not used to the 12s bearing down on him rather than building him up. Still, I think Wilson has the weapons and talent to make plays against Seattle’s secondary. And even if he doesn’t play his best, the Broncos can still lean on their two-headed rushing attack to drive down the field.
The over/under of 44.5 points implies a low-scoring, grind it out game. That favors the Seahawks, but I don’t have enough faith in Smith to make enough plays against Denver’s talented secondary.
Broncos country, let’s ride.
PICK: Broncos -6.5
Geno Smith Under 208.5 Passing Yards
Courtland Sutton Over 64.5 Receiving Yards