Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs SNF Odds & Pick
The Denver Broncos take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday Night Football. This AFC West matchup is the second meeting between these two teams this season. Denver is looking for better this week, after falling badly to the Saints last week when they had no QB to play, using a rookie WR from the practice squad with predictably poor results. They get some personnel back this week and hope to give their divisional rival a test. It won't be easy, as the defending Super Bowl champs are on a nice roll at 10-1, coming off a 27-24 road-win over Tampa last week. Who can get the cover in KC on Sunday Night Football?
Clues From Game One?
A Week 7 win for the Chiefs, 43-16, was revealing. After making it 7-6, Denver more or less wilted as the Chiefs methodically pulled away for the uncontested win. It was bizarre to see such a pronounced margin given the texture of the game. Denver outgained the Chiefs by over 100 yards offensively, held Mahomes to 200 yards, yet still got blown away. But between a kick return for a TD, a pick-six from Lock, and endless Denver miscues, Kansas City pretty much had things their way.
Main Challenges for Denver
In a way, they're in an ideal spot as big underdogs. No one is expecting much, and they can be loose and go out there and try to have fun. Things didn't work out this season as some would have hoped for the Broncos. Their massive overhaul with major additions on offense hasn't really manifested. Lock hasn't been able to pick up where he left off last season, and while we might see flashes of what they're envisioning, it hasn't come off with any consistency.
They now take to the road to play a team that is really clicking offensively with the Chiefs. The Chiefs that Denver faced was in a bit of a funk, for them anyway, coming off their only loss of the season to the Raiders and a somewhat-uninspiring win over Buffalo. The KC they face this week appears to be in better shape offensively, with Mahomes, along with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce really lighting it up as of late. While Denver miscues were a big part of KC's 43-point total the first game, it might be the Chiefs' offense that is the bigger thorn in their sides this week.
It's not that Denver has the wrong people or that they drafted the wrong guys necessarily, but more an issue of continuity. All their key guys have missed time, and the occasions in which all these youngsters like Lock, Lindsay, Jeudy, Hamler, Sutton, and others have all been on the field developing their chemistry and learning how to play together has been few indeed. With some better breaks on the health front, we'd be coming into a point in the season where some things would be coming together, but they were robbed of the chance to really congeal.
Can the Chiefs' Defense Step Up?
The Chiefs could clean up here and cover easily even if their defense doesn't play that well—let's face it. But when you have a defense that has taken a step back, covering big numbers becomes that much more difficult. They fell apart a little late last week against Tampa, which followed a 31-point allowance to the Raiders and 31 to the Panthers. They maintain a lot of their big-play ability while having become decidedly less-stout against the run, an area Denver could pounce on, even if Lindsay is nursing a bum knee.
It's just when looking at the different point totals for the Broncos this season, there are a few surges, surrounded by many inept outings. At 6-5 ATS, they're doing something right from time to time, but other than a 26-21 week two loss to the Steelers, each time they go against a team that might be playoff-bound, it's pretty much a disaster, as Denver has lost to the Bucs, Chiefs, Raiders, and Saints by a combined score of 139-41. Then again, they did beat the Patriots, Chargers, and Dolphins. And they have the talent on that roster to thrive in any one-game window.
Denver at Kansas City Week 13 Prediction
A few things here prevent me from taking the obvious route. After all, the Chiefs won by 27 in Denver not too long ago, and the Broncos aren't flying high in light of all the injuries and now a dose of the virus complicating things further. Still, Kansas City is in a position to relax a little, a sense only enhanced by a second meeting against a team they smashed without even really having a good game across many fronts. Granted, banking on a letdown with the Chiefs hasn't really paid off great this year in spots. But in betting, these teams have been equally productive against the spread this season. And on Sunday night, the value appears to be with the Broncos. I'll take Denver and the points.