Broncos vs. Cardinals prediction and odds for NFL preseason Week 1 (Bet on Denver)

Can the Broncos get the preseason started on the right foot?
Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton.
Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton. / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos begin the Sean Payton era on Friday with a preseason matchup against the Arizona Cardinals and first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon.

Denver is a major favorite in the game, sitting at -5.5, mainly because the Cardinals’ are expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL in the 2023 season.

Gannon plans on starting Colt McCoy, who could be the team’s starter early in 2023 with Kyler Murray recovering from a torn ACL, on Friday night.

Payton isn’t holding anything back – unlike Nathaniel Hackett last preseason – and he plans on giving his starters, including Russell Wilson, reps in Week 1 of the preseason.

That’s likely a major reason why Denver is expected to win this game handily. 

Wilson has looked good in camp, thriving with Payton at the helm. The Super Bowl winning coach seems to be bringing some much-needed stability to the organization.

Here’s how to wager on the Broncos-Cardinals game on Friday night, including the latest odds: 

Broncos vs. Cardinals odds, spread and total for NFL preseason Week 1

Broncos vs. Cardinals prediction and pick

Since the Broncos are planning on playing their starters to at least open this game, I think they are the side to bet.

Arizona is already at a talent deficit because of the team’s rebuild, and it should have a hard time competing with the Broncos’ starters since Murray is hurt.

Payton is also very solid against the spread in his head coaching career in the preseason, going 27-27-1 all time. Gannon, on the other hand, is coaching his first preseason game as a head coach. 

The Broncos had an extremely disappointing season in the 2022 campaign, but this could be a sign that things at turning around if they dominate a preseason matchup. 

I’ll lay the 5.5 points and hope Russ and company get off to a fast start. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.