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Woody Paige: Go Powerball instead of betting on Broncos' quarterback or Super Bowl chances

February 28, 2017 Updated: March 2, 2017 at 6:10 am
Caption +
Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch warms up before the Broncos/Rams game Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Feeling lucky?

Powerball is $53 million.

As I write this, the Bulls are favored by two points over the Nuggets on Tuesday.

I would bet on Chicago, which is 18-11 at home. The Nugs are 10-19 on the road. (By the time you read this, the game will be over, and the Nuggets probably won.)

But I never wager on sports. I've seen too many weird endings, bizarre turnarounds and incredible comebacks, and, despite my vocation, I don't really have a clue who's going to win. I couldn't pick Ryan Gosling from Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Phillippe out of a police lineup.

The only time I gamble is on pizza delivery, and I usually lose (cold, late, and inedible).

But, today I kind of like the odds of Tony Romo being with the Broncos and Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian not leading the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory this year.

The Broncos, according to my pals at the sports books in Las Vegas, are 16-to-1 to win Super Bowl LII. They are ranked seventh, with the Patriots and the Cowboys the preferences at 4½ and 10-to-1.

But nobody in Vegas or Denver knows who will be the Broncos' quarterback - a piece of important information, wouldn't you think? John Elway, Vance Joseph and Mike McCoy claim there will be a sincere competition between Trevor Siemian, who was 8-6 as a starter in 2016, and Lynch, who was 1-1 in his two starts.

However, the wise guys who make the line say that the Broncos are favored to wind up with Romo as their starting quarterback. If you bet $100, you can win $300. The Chiefs are second at 7-to-2, and the Texans are 5-to-1.

Let's begin with the Lynch Proposition. We all should be rather certain that John Elway - who hand-picked Lynch as the Broncos' No. 1 draft selection 2016 after trading up to get him - would love to see his protégé become the starting quarterback soon than later, and probably wanted him to start the Broncos' last game.

However, coach Gary Kubiak - who, according to two former associates, "was miserable last season'' - wanted to go out with a victory, and left Siemian (who Kubiak had persuaded Elway to draft the year before) in until the end.

Assume for the moment that Lynch does start in 2017. He won't be 24 until eight days after the Super Bowl next Feb. 4. Only 10 starting quarterbacks of the 102 in Super Bowl history have been 25 or younger. Just five - Joe Namath (25), Joe Montana (25), Tom Brady (24), Ben Roethlisberger (23) and Russell Wilson (25) - have been on the winning side.

The Broncos' chances of winning a Super Bowl, with Lynch at quarterback, are less than 5 percent, and that's if you consider him in a class with those five QBs at tender ages.

Siemian will turn 26 the day after Christmas. Ten quarterbacks have made their Super Bowl debut in the Super Bowl at 26. Four - Bob Griese, Terry Bradshaw, Jim McMahon and Troy Aikman - won the championship. Among those who didn't were John Elway (against the Giants) and Cam Newton (against the Broncos).

Based on history, the Broncos have an approximate 9 percent chance to winning the Super Bowl with Siemian. (It took Elway four Super Bowls and 15 years to win his first.)

More than half the Super Bowl quarterbacks were 30 or older (52), and 26 won.

Tony Romo will be 37 on April 21. Nine quarterbacks in Super Bowls were 37 or older, and six won - Tom Brady and John Elway twice, and Peyton Manning and John Unitas once each. Manning was the oldest at 39. Manning, who was in the NFL for 17 years, won two of four Super Bowls, Elway two of five.

Actually, the odds of being in a Super Bowl, and winning, at 25 or younger, or at 26, are slightly higher than those who are 37 or older.

Oddly enough.

Will Romo come to Denver? Despite what anybody believes, there is no clarity yet. Neither Elway nor Romo are sure. They're not betting.

So, those are among the multitude of reasons I wouldn't bet, or recommend it.

Buy a Powerball ticket instead.

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