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So you want to bet on the Broncos???

Now that Colorado has legalized sports betting - and the Broncos have teamed up with FanDuel - there are some good reasons to try it. But know what you’re doing first.

Super Bowl LII Proposition Bets At The Westgate Las Vegas Race & Sports SuperBook Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sports betting officially opened in Colorado in May, and the state pulled in a $25.5 handle in that first month - even without major sports action due to COVID-19 restrictions.

That makes Colorado - home to major NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB franchise teams - a pretty lucrative place to promote sports betting.

Which is clearly what FanDuel thought when it created the first major partnership between a sportsbook and an NFL team by inking a deal with the Denver Broncos.

Taking advantage of the NFL’s recent approval of partnerships between teams and sports betting outfits, the Broncos and FanDuel announced on Monday a multi-year deal.

“Colorado is home to a passionate sports fan base and independent spirit, and, together with the Broncos, we’re going to take the fan experience in Colorado to the next level,” said FanDuel CMO Mike Raffensperger.

The partnership gives FanDuel access to official Broncos marks and logos to use across its sports betting and daily fantasy sports offerings in Colorado. The agreement also grants FanDuel access to in-stadium marketing plus TV and digital advertising to promote offerings directly to fans.

Some early promotions already being marketed to fans include:

The Broncos +30 on the point spread for Week 1 (+100, max bet of $50) at home against the Tennessee Titans.

The over/under on Broncos total wins (7.5) set at +1,600 with a $10 max bet.

Fan Duel is offering special odds boosts on the Broncos to win Week 1 (boosted from -130 to +120) and rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy to score a touchdown (+250 to +400).

“FanDuel has built a strong reputation as a premier gaming destination for sports fans,” said Denver Broncos chief commercial officer Mac Freeman. “The ways they smartly reach people through engaging and entertaining content is in line with the Broncos’ innovative thinking when connecting with our fans.”

So now that sports betting is legal in Colorado (plus 17 other legal sports betting states) - as well as practically encouraged by your favorite NFL franchise - what’s stopping you from joining the online betting craze that has been sweeping the country since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in 2018 a federal ban on sports betting outside Nevada?


Except maybe money and lack of knowledge.

I can’t help you with the former, but I can offer some help on the latter - at least a little.

Dustin Gouker, analyst/editor for PlayUSA network including PlayColorado, a new website for all things sports gaming in the Centennial State, has several things he always recommends to new sports bettors - beginning with the basics.

Know what you’re talking about

Gouker’s go-to resource for introducing people to the world of gaming is

Legal sports betting has been expanding quickly and now that major sports are starting to get back to form - and you can bet on something besides table tennis - here is a comprehensive list of some common sports betting terms to know.

A few highlights:

American Odds – American odds are displayed differently than the rest of the world. Moneyline odds are shown as + or – a number in the US. Outside of the US, the same odds might be presented with a decimal point or by a fraction. Example: Yankees +400 American odds would be 5.0 or 4/1. The bettor takes home the same amount of money if the wager wins.

Decimal Odds – This is a different way to present odds than Americans are used to. They’re sometimes called “European odds” since this is how odds are listed with European sportsbooks. The math is easier to figure out for most bettors than U.S. moneyline odds. Decimal odds are derived from a simple calculation of the amount bet x odds.

Bonus – Sportsbooks offer a financial bonus to customers for a variety of reasons. A signup bonus is the most popular way to incentivize bettors to use a certain sportsbook.

Margin – This is a wager where a bettor selects a team to win or lose by a specific number of points regardless of the point spread. For example, the Las Vegas Raiders will defeat the Los Angeles Chargers by 10-14 points. The Raiders must win by 11, 12, or 13 points for a win. A victory by 10 or 14 points is a push.

Live Betting – Placing a wager on a game or event while it’s taking place. This is also known as In Play wagering. This is also becoming very popular during NFL games and will surely be part of the FanDuel marketing at Broncos Stadium.

Matched Bet – When a bettor uses free wagers from a sportsbook operator to increase potential profit. This is a popular technique in new legal sports betting markets as a lot of promotional offers are available.

Nickel – Placing a $500 wager. A “Dime” is a $1,000 wager.

Odds-on Favorite – When a team or person is heavily favored to win a game or event. They often have very low odds paying much less than the amount wagered.

Off the Board – When a sportsbook stops taking wagers on an event or participant they remove the game odds from the betting board. This often happens when a player is uncertain to participate because of an injury.

Straight Up – When a team wins or loses an event. The point spread isn’t involved with the winner or loser.

Take the Points – When a bettor places a wager on an underdog they are taking the points offered by the sportsbook.

Gouker also recommends some explainers on types of common bets, such as moneyline and point spread bets. Betting the moneyline is definitely the simplest wager on sports. Just choose a player or team to win. If you get it right, you win. Betting the point spread is the most common wager.

Point spread betting, however, is the most popular kind of sports betting, especially in football and basketball. Known as an equalizer for sportsbook operators, point spreads allow each team playing an almost even chance of winning the game and gives bettors a reason to risk money on both teams. The favorite to win, listed as being minus (-), must win by the point spread offered by the sportsbook.

A bettor who chooses the underdog, listed as being plus (+), wins if that team wins the game outright or loses by an amount smaller than the point spread.

Set a budget

This seems like a no-brainer; the thing you tell yourself when planning a vacation to Vegas. But while basic, it is sound advice. With so many types of bets - and with the trend of in-game wagering online - it could be easy to bet beyond a budget ... and get in a hole.

Gouker reminds people to not think of sports betting as a way to make serious money. Pro sports bettors are the only ones making the big bucks - because they know what they’re doing and they’re playing with big money.

Instead, look at sports gambling as entertainment, Gouker advises.

“Bet what you are comfortable losing,” he says. “You are never going to get much but it’s entertainment.”

Take advantage of risk-free bets

All online sports apps - such as FanDuel, DraftKings, etc. - offer deals when you sign up to play with them. Colorado currently has eight sportsbook apps that have launched for legal online sports betting. With casinos reopening in Colorado, expect more in the works in the coming months.

Gouker says most apps will offer something to get you in the door, such as the chance to make a bet without putting any money into an account.

“Take advantage of that because it’s free money,” he says. “If you win, you win that money. If you lose, you don’t get the money back, but you can use it to bet again, and you’re not losing your own money.”

So looking at the Fan Duel promotions for the Broncos listed above, the usual over/under bet would be even odds (-110) but Fan Duel is agreeing pay out $160 on a $10 bet if the Broncos hit the over.

“That is very good value for the bettor,” Gouker says, adding that with the point spread offer, the Broncos would have to lose by less than 30 points (or win outright) for a bet to win. “This is obviously almost a guarantee.”

Likewise, the Fan Duel “boosts” on the Broncos odds to win Week 1 and Jeudy’s odds to score a touchdown have just gone up, enhancing a bettor’s payouts.

Stick to sports you know

If you watch a lot of sports, then feel free to bet on them. But if you only watch the NFL, for example, it wouldn’t be wise to make bets on the NBA.

Or ... table tennis.

“If you enjoy watching table tennis, and you want to spend hours understanding it, go for it,” he says. “But don’t throw money at things you don’t understand.”

So if you don’t really follow professional baseball or basketball, making bets on the Rockies or Nuggets or Avs just because (unless they have incredible odds as favorites), isn’t a great idea.

Bet on 50-50 propositions

It’s often fun to bet on the underdog and hope for the huge payout because of the low odds.

But this isn’t smart betting. Always take the bets with at least 50 percent odds, Gouker says. So betting on point spreads is usually a good idea as well as taking the favorites. The payout may be less but the more often you win small, the more money you put in your pocket. Playing the odds, as they say.

“It’s not as sexy a return but you’re more likely to win more often,” Gouker says.

Along these lines, the smart bettor won’t just “bet on his/her team.” While you may love the Broncos and hope the odds are “ever in their favor” this season, paying attention to the smart bet is the way to win money. If, like me, you can’t bet against your favorite team, you may not want to bet on games involving the Broncos just yet.

Read up

The best way to make smarter bets is to really understand the industry, the logic and the math.

Websites like The Lines and PlayColorado are good for keeping up with news, and Gouker also highly recommends the book, “The Logic of Sports Betting,” for understanding the system, reading the odds, etc.

“It’s a little in the weeds, but it really breaks down what sportsbooks do,” he says.

Gouker reiterated that sports betting is not going to be a huge moneymaker for most fans, so don’t make it an easy way to throw away potential profit by making dumb bets.

“Have realistic expectations. The average person should not expect to make a lot of money,” he says. “It’s entertainment, but be careful.”


Who’s excited about sports betting in Colorado now?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Me Me Me Me!
    (39 votes)
  • 41%
    I don’t care, but heck, why not?
    (44 votes)
  • 20%
    I only bet on the Broncos, so...not just yet.
    (22 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now