The sports-betting world looks at what the Seattle Seahawks did on opening day of this season as nothing short of a miracle.
The San Francisco 49ers were supposed to be a much-improved team under head coach Mike Singletary. Quarterback Alex Smith was supposed to come into his own this season, and Frank Gore was supposed to be an elite running back.
Instead, the Seahawk defense completely shut down the 49ers' offense, picked off two passes from Smith, sacked him twice and forced a fumble. When the dust settled, Seattle dominated San Francisco 31-6 in a defensive masterpiece.
It could be due to the arrival of new Seattle head coach Pete Carroll, or it could just be that the 49ers offense is as bad as San Francisco was afraid it may be.
Betting on NFL games in Denver has been a tricky proposition the last couple of years.
In the first half of the 2009 season, the Broncos were one of the best teams in football. In the second half, the Broncos were one of the worst teams in the league.
Unfortunately for the football-betting faithful in Denver, that worst team in the league is rearing its ugly head in 2010.
The Broncos defense gave up three touchdown passes to quarterback David Garrard and the Jacksonville Jaguars. In a game that Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio had to have, the Broncos gave it to him.
Denver quarterback Kyle Orton was not the problem. He threw for 295 yards, a touchdown, and an interception in the game.
It was the Denver defense that let the team down, and that was the story in the second half of last season.
Now we have the Seattle Seahawks defens, fresh off a stunning win over an inept 49ers offense, taking on the Broncos and their fully-functioning defense. The Seahawks will not be able to victimize the Broncos offense like they tore apart San Francisco's.
The NFL picks experts have the Broncos as three-and-a-half-point favorites because the Broncos offense is better than the 49ers. That brings this down to a battle between Denver's defense and the Seattle offense.
Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw for 170 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers. He was extremely efficient, and he did a lot of underneath passing.
The Broncos have linebackers just waiting for the Seahawks to throw the ball underneath, and with corners like Champ Bailey watching Seattle's receivers, there will not be a lot of room for the long ball.
The Bronco defense should shut down the Seattle offense well enough to allow Kyle Orton and the Denver offense to win the game.
A win in this game could save Broncos fans from themselves. If the Broncos start 0-2, the calls for Tim Tebow to start at quarterback will begin.
Denver head coach Josh McDaniels is just waiting for a reason to put in Tebow, but he is not ready for the NFL yet.
Pick: Denver Broncos 35-20