The Denver Broncos travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills in a clash between two teams that could be among the most dangerous in the AFC this season.
The pre-game story: Denver won its first game of the preseason as backup quarterback Josh Johnson excelled with a 172-yard effort and two touchdowns. The Bills, meanwhile, earned a win over the Indianapolis Colts with a 17-point fourth quarter led by talent down the roster.
Here are our Broncos vs. Bills picks for August 20.
Broncos vs. Bills Picks Preview
- Invoices -5.5 (-115)
- Over 41.5 points (-114)
Broncos pick vs. Bills
Best bet: Bills -5.5 (-115)
It’s an unusually large gap for a pre-season game, but it’s justified by the contrast in how each team approaches this one.
Read more: Buffalo Bills Betting Overview
It’s clear the Bills view this game as an important tune-up and they’re allocating playing time accordingly.
New Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett has a different philosophy on the importance of the preseason. He has yet to play his starters and has hinted he won’t in recent days – as he did in a media availability Tuesday saying he didn’t like pre-season and prioritized being smart with his players.
If both teams were full, it would be worth considering the Bills to cover that gap at home. With Buffalo taking this game more seriously than their opponent, it looks like a smart move.
A Bills offense led by Mark Barkley and Case Keenum last week — a duo that threw three interceptions without scoring a passing touchdown — had 27 points. If Josh Allen gets significant playing time, he should be able to up the score.
Key stat: The Bills ranked first in the NFL in point differential in 2021 (+194), and the team’s starters remain largely unchanged from last season.
Read more: AFC East Betting Overview
More than 41.5 points (-114): This pick is primarily a bet on Buffalo’s offensive starters to generate explosive plays, but Denver’s backups are also respectable.
Johnson looked solid in four regular-season appearances in 2021 with a 99.0 quarterback rating and 7.5 yards per attempt. Even at 35, he also brings a touch of upside-down rush.
Quotes at 12:25 p.m. on 08/18/2022.
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