The Denver Broncos Have Officially Arrived

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
The Denver Broncos Have Officially Arrived

Have you checked the Denver Broncos’ odds to make the NFL playoffs lately? Because they are on the rise.

This tends to happen when you’re on a four-game winning streak. Granted, the Denver Broncos are far from locks to make the postseason. But entering their Week 12 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, they have a real chance. It’s an opportunity, of course, predicated on picking up a victory Sunday, November 26, at 4 p.m. eastern standard time, on Empire Field at Mile High Stadium, in Denver, Colorado. But if the latest NFL online betting odds are any indication, Denver has at least a slight advantage:

Denver Broncos-136+116Cleveland Browns

Please remember to double-check these online NFL betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Broncos vs. Browns Week 12 betting odds are accurate entering Wednesday, November 22. That gives the best NFL online betting sites plenty of time to make adjustments leading into opening kick-off on Sunday afternoon.

While many have opted to take the Broncos’ winning streak with a grain of salt, we can’t help but be impressed. This stretch includes victories over the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. That’s no joke. Nor is Denver’s defense. They have been among the stingiest bunch in the league since about Week 5. 

Which isn’t to say the Broncos are head and shoulders better than the Browns. Cleveland’s own defense has proven scrappy and limited high-octane offenses—including those in Buffalo and Kansas City. So, which team is the better NFL Week 12 bet? Let’s get into it.

It Seems the Denver Broncos Have Found Their Winning Formula Entering Week 12

Defense has fueled the Broncos’ midseason turnaround. Over their past five games, they are allowing just 17.4 points and have forced an NFL-leading 14 turnovers. Twelve of these turnovers have come over the past three games, each of which saw Denver take down playoff contenders: Kansas City, Minnesota and Buffalo.

Still, for all the Broncos are doing on defense, they’re starting to perk up on offense, too. As ESPN’s Jeff Legwold wrote following the Broncos’ latest victory:

“The Broncos have some issues on offense -- coach Sean Payton isn't always as committed to the run as he says he wants to be, and the Broncos rank 18th on third-down conversions (38.2%) and 21st in red zone efficiency (48.6%). But Wilson has played winning football, including Sunday's winning drive in the final two minutes for the team's fourth victory in a row. He has the second-lowest interception percentage in the league (1.3%), is third in touchdown passes (19) and leads the league in fourth-quarter comebacks, and Sunday was his league-leading fourth game-winning drive this season.”

In addition to all of this, the Broncos are pulling the Browns at the right time. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is done for the season. That throws a real wrench into the offense. Cleveland has experience winning without him. They just eked out a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 11. But the Steelers aren’t the surging Broncos. And playing in Denver during this time of year is tough for any team, let alone one missing their QB1.

OSB Prediction: Denver Broncos (-136)

Denver Broncos To beat the Cleveland Browns

Here is Why the Broncos aren’t More Heavily Favored Over a Shorthanded Cleveland Browns Offense

With Deshaun Watson out for the season, it would stand to reason the Broncos enter as heavy favorites over the Browns. But as the latest NFL Week 12 point spread betting lines show, this is simply not the case:

  • Denver Broncos, -2.5 (-110)
  • Cleveland Browns, +2.5 (-110)

Not only is Denver merely a slight favorite, but the public action has thus far been fairly split. So what gives? The Browns’ defense.

Cleveland ranks second in net yards allowed per passing attempt and is sixth in points allowed per game. They can be weak guarding against the run, but Denver isn’t married to attacking on the ground anyway.

And yet, the Browns have revealed some warts in recent weeks. Opponents have scored 24 or more points in three of their past five games, and Cleveland now rates in the bottom eight of red zone defense. The Broncos offense might throw them a bone with their own struggles in the red zone and on third down. But Denver undeniably has the firepower edge in this one.

OSB Prediction: Denver Broncos, -2.5 (-110)

Denver Broncos To cover the point spread against the Cleveland Browns

Cleveland vs. Denver Could Get Ugly 

Whenever two gritty defenses square off, the NFL over/under betting lines tend to duck below 40. And that’s exactly the kind of line we’re working with ahead of Broncos vs. Browns:

  • Over 35.5 (-110)
  • Under 35.5 (-110)

This point total makes sense. It is also too low for our tastes. Denver has picked up their offensive output ever so slightly. They’re averaging 23 points over their past three games, each of which came against stellar defensive opponents. 

If the Broncos were more married to running the ball, we could see this turning into a slog—long drives that yield little to know points. But their commitment to having Russell Wilson scramble and to throwing the ball should ensure they top 20 points yet again. And that’s a vote of confidence in this matchup clearing the “over.” Of course, this goes slightly against the grain. Denver is 2-4 against the "over" when playing at home. But if you believe they've turned a corner, you also have to believe they'll score enough to nudge the final score of this game closer to 40 points.

OSB Prediction: Over 35.5 (-110)

Broncos and Browns To score over 35.5 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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