The Denver Broncos ended the Week 1 schedule with a thud, losing 24-16 to the Oakland Raiders in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. In Week 2, Joe Flacco and Co. will try to pick up their first win of the 2019 NFL season against the Chicago Bears, who won the NFC North last season with a 12-4 record and the conference’s best defense.

Chicago’s season opener didn’t go as planned, either. The Bears were beaten by the rival Green Bay Packers at home 10-3. Only one other team failed to score a touchdown on the first weekend of the season. 

The betting public seems to think Chicago has a much better chance to bounce back when the Bears visit the Broncos Sunday afternoon. Denver has moved to a 2.5-point home underdog, according to OddsShark. The betting line was a pick’em before the Raiders upset the Broncos Monday night.

The shift in the point spread makes Denver the right pick in Week 2. There are several reasons to believe the Broncos will pull out the victory for their first win of the season. 

Even when they don’t have a particularly good team, the Broncos can be difficult to beat in Denver, especially at the start of the season. The Broncos began 2018 with home wins against the Seattle Seahawks and Raiders before ending the year with a 6-10 record. In their 5-11 campaign two years ago, Denver beat the Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys at Mile High in the season’s first two weeks.

Over the last eight years, the Broncos have won 12 straight home games that have taken place in either Week 1 or Week 2. The Bears have lost their first road game of the season in four straight years.

Denver’s offensive struggles from Week 1 are more than likely to carry over to Week 2. Chicago’s defense looked to be in mid-season form against Green Bay, holding the Packers’ offense to 213 yards and one touchdown. Aaron Rodgers was sacked five times, and Flacco figures to have a poor game.

But the same could be said for Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears’ offense. 

Von Miller Outside linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos runs onto the field during player introductions before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 17, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/GETTY

Chicago was limited to 254 yards with no trips into the end zone in the NFL’s Kickoff Game. The concerns regarding Trubisky only grew with his 228 yards and one interception on 45 attempts. On Sunday, he’ll be facing a defense led by first-year head coach Vic Fangio, who knows Trubisky well from his time as Chicago’s defensive coordinator.

Trubisky won’t perform like Derek Carr, who picked apart Denver for 22 completions on 26 attempts Monday night. Not only did the quarterback avoid taking a sack, but he didn’t get hit in the entire game against Denver. 

Expect the Broncos’ pass rush to rebound in their home opener. The Broncos were eighth in sacks last year. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb still lead the defense after combining for 26.5 sacks in 2018. 

Oakland’s offensive line might have been vastly underrated after signing tackle Trent Brown to a record contract. Chicago’s offensive line is coming off a game in which it allowed five sacks. 

MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs were the only visiting team to score more than 24 points in Denver last season. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were the only opponents to do so in 2017.

Don’t expect Trubisky and the Bears to be the one team that has a big day at Mile High in 2018. 

It’s going to be a close, low-scoring game, one that likely falls below the over/under of 40.5. Take the home team that’s getting the points.

Prediction Against The Spread: Denver over Chicago, 17-13