Russell Wilson (3) of the Denver Broncos leads his team to the field before the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills, Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during the first half of the preseason game
Left: hoto by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images, Right: Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Monday Night Football: Best Bets for Russell Wilson's Return to Seattle

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!

Just point me to the best pitcher and wings special and I'm there for Monday Night Football. Seriously, NFL games on Monday just makes the start of the week more bearable. But I suppose that also depends on whether or not you hate Joe Buck.

Oh, you didn't forget, did you?

That's right, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman take their show to primetime in 2022 as the voices of the new Monday Night announce team and they get a doozy of a game as Russell Wilson makes his first start in a Broncos uniform, fresh off signing a fiver-year deal with Denver. How does the former NFL MVP kick off the next chapter of his Hall of Fame career? By taking on his former team in his former home stadium. We suspect he'll be cheered until he drops a few touchdown passes and the 12th Man and Seattle realizes what they have lost.

Spread: Denver -6.5

Javonte Williams runs in the open field against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cooper Neill via Getty Images

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The more and more I thought about this game, I begin to realize something. I don't like a quarterback to coming into his first game with a new team and lighting up the scoreboard. Russell Wilson is a great quarterback, but he took zero snaps in the preseason and will be in a new system after a decade in his previous one. I could see him taking a bit of time to get the offense clicking.

On the other sideline, I think the market is undervaluing Geno Smith, who is a fine quarterback with a few bad breaks, most notably the New York Jets. In Seattle, Smith has been able to find his rhythm, admirably filling in for Wilson last season and throwing 702 yards with five touchdowns to a single interception and a completion percentage of 68.4 percent in four games that Seattle went 1-3 during.

I think this is a rat line. If odds makers had so much confidence in Denver, then put this over -7 and let bettors pay to see that outcome. At -6.5, this line is geared to generating bets on Denver. I don't want to do what the sportsbook wants me to do. I'm a rebel.

Russell Wilson is 4-11 against the spread as a road favorite of -3 or more since 2016. Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks are 16-9 against the spread as home underdogs since 2010. Something to look into as you also begin to question Vegas.

Bet: Seattle +6.5

Over/Under: 44.5

Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during the first half of the preseason game

Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

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Over/Under betting in Week 1 with new(ish) quarterbacks for each team? That's a difficult task. Even though Smith started a few games for Seattle last season, there is going to be a feeling-out process for each quarterback, as mentioned above with Russell and Denver. Here's the rub, I like a slow start to this one, eand specially if I am playing the Seahawks spread, I am relying on a slow start for Denver, as well as relying on the Broncos secondary to  force Seattle's offense off the field early and often.

Bet: Under 44.5

Prop Bets

Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the Dallas Cowboys

Photo by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images

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Russell Wilson 1.5+ TDs (-130)

This is a bit of a hedge and flies in the face of how I am playing the spread and the under. Deal with it. If Denver puts up points in this game, Seattle won't be able to hang. But two touchdowns in a close yet low scoring game isn't so far-fetched. It's his debut, I can't entirely root for him to falter.

Tyler Lockett 3.5+ receptions (-155)

A stout Broncos secondary that will look to limit DK Metcalf is key to this play. If that happens, Tyler Lockett may see an uptick in targets. The Seattle wideout averaged 4.5 targets per game a season ago. Add in the fact that Lockett was Smith's favorite receiver in his four games last season, as well as the fact that Lockett will line up in the slot. Denver has an excellent pass rush and should pressure Geno Smith into a fair share of quick throws. Look for Lockett to be the recipient. 

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