THURS. NITE NFL GAME OF WEEK: CHIEFS @ BRONCOS (10-17)!
CHIEFS LOOK TO REBOUND OFF BACK TO BACK LOSSES AS THEY FACE RIVAL BRONCOS ON ROAD!
VEGAS BETTING ODDS: KC CHIEFS (-3) @ DENVER BRONCOS ~ TOTAL: (49 1/2)
Key Betting Line Movement update: Wednesday and early week showed KC (-3 1/2). All big bets on Denver so far to move line to (-3). Majority of bets on “OVER” the Total as line has gone from (48 1/2) to now (49 1/2), with Pinnacle already now at (50).
This is an interesting match up where we get to see a great Offense vs. a great Defense. Handicapping games on these short weeks is always a bit tougher too, as nobody can really gauge how badly many players got banged up Sunday and if 3 days is enough for them to be healthy enough to play at their normal levels. Not many people expected to see King Patrick (Mahomes) lose two in a row and struggle on Offense. But he did, and so now we know he is a mortal like all the rest. It’s more fun to bet the “shining star” then the plug nickle, which in this game is the Denver Broncos. The Sportsbooks though just love these type of games and so the House should do well tonight.
First off let’s look at past match ups a bit. KC has won the last 7 meetings straight up. They are (5-0) ATS last 5 at Mile High Stadium. But the last 4 meetings in Denver have all been decided by 4 points or less. So although the Broncos haven’t won those games, most have been winnable games. The problem betting Denver is you will lose your mind for 3 hours as they can truly drive you insane, especially the Offense. QB Flacco was brought in to get this Offense finally hitting on all cylinders. He definitely hasn’t come close to that. The Broncos have scored 20 points or less in every game but one, where they scored a nothing to write home about 24 points. Part of the reason for this anyone can see: Flacco sacked 15x (Offensive Line one of leagues worst) and 5 interceptions (7 turnovers this year himself) in just 6 games. Then to make it worse, even the HC Vic Fangio knows he’s not that good, as over and over and over they punt on third and half yard needed for first down. I get it he knows he’s got a great Defense (#4th overall in the NFL), but you “PLAY TO LOSE” and “NOT TO WIN” and you lose way more games then you actually win.
Both teams have had good and bad over past few games. Denver, even losing stud Chubb a few weeks ago, was as dominant vs. the rush the past two weeks as I’ve watched in years. They allowed only 35 rush yards to the Chargers and 39 to Tennessee last week. You can surely give huge props to any Defense achieving those amazing numbers, but you must also look at the two teams they did it against. Both the Chargers Offense (totally out of sync) and the Titans Offense (maybe the worst in NFL right now) were nothing to brag about.
Now as great as the Broncos Defense has been stopping the Run, well folks the Chiefs Run Defense is at the other end of the spectrum, and by a gigantic margin too. Right now, this last month, the Chiefs have had the worst Run Defense I’ve watched in a long, long time. They allowed these rush numbers the past 4 weeks: Ravens (203), Lions (186), Colts (180) and Texans (192). As bad as those numbers are, the real factor of why they are so bad is this has kept the Chiefs high powered Offense off the field. The Chiefs “Air Raid” does no damage if it’s not on field, and the past two weeks the average TIME OF POSSESSION: (38-22) against them. This Chiefs Defense now comes into the high altitude tonight, already with as worn out a Defense as you can get. This Defense has been on the field 76 minutes the past two weeks and now has to travel on a short 3 day off week. They have allowed 5 of the 6 opponents top Running Back this year to gain 99 yards or more. So one of the big KEYS tonight is how they can do facing a middle of pack rushing attack (Denver #14 rush – avg. 116 rypg). If they allow 180 yards rushing or more again, the outcome will likely be same as last two weeks: KC losses.
The Broncos started as bad as possible, but of late clearly have left those losses behind them. They almost know that all their games will likely be close, so they are definitely prepared for tonight’s game to be again, like the past 2 seasons, where the Chiefs won 27-24 and 27-23. Both scores the books tonight would not like to see. (LOL)
The Chiefs will always know they have the better QB when facing Broncos. It is alarming though the Chiefs have had some long scoring droughts in games this year, something you’d never of expected when this season started. No points in entire halves? The Chiefs? Yup it has happened and the Chiefs can’t fix it if Defense doesn’t figure a way to stopping the Run. One reason the Chiefs struggled past few games on Offense is they were without key WR’s. Sammy Watkins is the guy who helps keep T. Hill from being doubled. Both are deep threats. No team throws deep passes more than the Mahomes. Hill is back, Watkins is still out. So what’s Chiefs game plan tonight? Two nice sports to exploit the Broncos Defense: (1) Throw at Broncos CB D. Harris (came in as #6 Cornerback to start the year). I’d guess he gets burned all game long. (2) Throw ball early and often to super stud Tight End Travis Kelce. This is “Mismatch City” with Kelce vs. any Broncos Linebacker. He has 55 catches, 762 yards and 4 TD’s vs. Broncos last 7 meetings. ALL CHIEFS WINS!
Look folks the Chiefs are clearly still in a transition period on Defense, switching for 3-4 to 4-3, a change clearly imploding worse then anyone could’ve ever imagined. I always hate new DC’s who completely change a Defense, but usually after a month the team usually starts to grasp it and is ok rest of way. This is not close to grasping and something will surely change they allow another big rushing night tonight. The Broncos just won two games. But who did they beat? Titans and worst QB (Mariotta) and one of worst OL’s in NFL, and Chargers (OL in shambles). They won’t get so lucky tonight vs. Chiefs Offense really still top 3 in NFL (can’t blame Chiefs Offense for poor numbers past 2 weeks when rarely on field).
INJURY UPDATE: Great news for Broncos as star WR E. Sanders will return tonight. In my 30+ years covering NFL, he is in top 10 most Under rated WR’s and if he was out, I don’t think Broncos had a chance. Him playing allows young stud WR Sutton to be the #2 guy, and that opens up more chances for Flacco.
ATS UPDATE: Both teams are (3-3) ATS thru 6 games.
MISLEADING WIN: Last week Broncos beat Titans. But they also had a season low 270 total yards in that win. I had the Broncos in that game. If the Defense wasn’t off charts fantastic entire game they likely lose to anyone else.
FINAL PASS: This game comes down to can KC stop the run or not. Also KC can’t pass ball 36x and rush it 11x and expect to win against the Broncos in their house with the 4th Best Pass Defense. I won’t be in action tonight but this is the game I bet we see some “trick plays” and hopefully we see Broncos HC Vangio finally take some chances on Offense. Oh and if you bet the Broncos, don’t forget to take your blood pressure pills before the game. This Offense and Head Coach play calls will drive you to drink by halftime.
Enjoy the game and may all your wagers be WINNING ones!