DEN-CIN Free Picks
Cincinnati, OH - The Denver Broncos hope a new head coach, a new quarterback and a new direction will help them forget about blowing an opportunity to win the AFC West last year.
The Broncos will start their 2009 season on the road when they travel to Paul Brown Stadium to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.
Denver collapsed with only four games remaining last year and felt it needed to make a change. So they fired longtime head coach Mike Shanahan and replaced him with former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
After a month-long saga, the Broncos eventually traded former first round pick Jay Cutler to Chicago after he found out that McDaniels wanted ex-New England signal caller Matt Cassel. In the trade with the Bears, Denver acquired Kyle Orton to become their new head coach.
Speaking of quarterbacks, the Bengals hope that they finally have theirs back and healthy. Carson Palmer will return under center for Cincinnati on Sunday after missing virtually the entire 2008 season due to injuries.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made the Bengals 5-point home favorites against the Broncos. The over/under total for this game has been established at 42.5
Denver only covered in four games last year and now have the limited Orton under center and not the strong-armed Cutler. While the Bengals were a mess last season too, Cincinnati offers a better roster of talent than Denver and should receive a boost with Palmer back under center.
Still, this matchup is too close to be a 5-point spread. The Bengals’ defense is young and inexperienced and McDaniels’ offense will generate points, no matter who’s under center. Rookie running back Knowshon Moreno could get involved early and make something things happen.
We expect Cincinnati to win, but recommend taking the points with Denver because this is a three or four point game either way. The total has gone over in 10 of Denver’s last 15 games on the road, so we also recommend taking the OVER 42.5 in this contest.
Our NFL Week 1 Free Picks for this matchup are: DENVER BRONCOS +5 and OVER 42.5.
Denver Broncos +5 Over 42.5 Moneyline +195
Cincinnati Bengals –5 Under 42.5 Moneyline -235
Denver is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Cincinnati
Denver is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games when playing Cincinnati
Cincinnati is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Cincinnati's last 11 games at home
Josh Barrett, S, Out Week 1 (shoulder)
Le Kevin Smith, DT, Out Week 1 (knee)
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Questionable Week 1 (finger)
Chris Kuper, G, Questionable Week 1 (ankle)
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Questionable Week 1 (knee)
Kyle Orton, QB, Questionable Week 1 (right finger)
Chris Simms, QB, Questionable Week 1 (ankle)
Brian Dawkins, S, Probable Week 1 (hand)
David Jones, CB, Out Week 1 (foot)
Andre Smith, T, Out Week 1 (foot)
Scott Kooistra, G, Questionable Week 1 (knee)
Chris Henry, WR, Probable Week 1 (thigh)
Carson Palmer, QB, Probable Week 1 (ankle)
Roy Williams, S, Probable Week 1 (thigh)
Posted: 9/13/09 7:45AM ET