The Denver Broncos descend on the Kansas City Chiefs for a Sunday Night Football showdown that just got interesting. The Broncos won’t quit. The punditocracy has written Denver off a number of times, but the Broncos keep coming back.
This week, they’re faced with their biggest challenge against the AFC West-leading Chiefs on the road. Predictably, the odds are stacked against Denver at the sportsbook exchange, but the public still fancies the Broncos as the double-digit underdogs at the very least to cover the hefty point spread, if not pull off the outright upset.
- Game: Denver Broncos (6-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
- Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
- Day/Time: Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
- Television: NBC
|Denver Broncos||+10 -120||+340||47 -110o|
|Kansas City Chiefs||-10 Ev||-420||47 -110u|
The Denver Broncos are riding an 11-game skid against the Kansas City Chiefs, a deflating run of form that dates back to 2015 – the year Peyton Manning hung up his cleats for good.
This is the first meeting between the Broncos and Chiefs in 2021, and if the NFL odds were any indication, the prognosis isn’t favorable. The Chiefs have dominated the AFC West and, even, the league since 2015. The Chiefs have the second-best winning record after the New England Patriots at 85-34-0 against the field, and they have the best-record against the division in the league at 32-6-0.
Next game: vs Detroit Lions
Just as the Broncos look to be down and out, they rebound in a big way. In the last four weeks, the Broncos have reeled off three wins in four games, including upsets over the Dallas Cowboys (30-16) and the Los Angeles Chargers (28-13).
The Broncos’ defense proved to be the deciding factor in last week’s game as they gave second-year quarterback Justin Herbert all sorts of headaches. They forced mistakes, turnovers and won the battle in the trenches.
Teddy Bridgewater was forced out of the game in the first quarter, ushering the return of turnover-prone Drew Lock again. True to form, the backup immediately fumbled the ball. When the Broncos were up 14-0 just before halftime, Lock threw a ghastly interception. That sparked the Chargers back to life and they scored a touchdown to close the gap to 14-7.
Despite Lock’s best efforts to tank the Broncos, they nevertheless emerged winners. That’s because an injured Bridgewater returned in the second half to save the day.
Teddy Bridgewater sending Joey Bosa to the ground is the best thing that has happened today.
— Jordan (@J22Lopezz) November 28, 2021
The Broncos went into last week’s contest against the division-rival Chargers, as the 2½-point home underdogs. But they defied the betting online odds to serve up the pivotal win.
On the heels of the victory, the Broncos improved to 6-5 on the season and moved up to the ninth spot in the AFC standings where they’re mired in a three-way tie with the Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders for the seventh seed.
Bridgewater (shin), tackle Calvin Anderson (knee), guard Dalton Risner (back), wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (hamstring), defensive end Shelby Harris (ankle), safety Kareem Jackson (shoulder), tackle Bobby Massie (ankle), safety Jamar Johnson (quadricep), linebacker Micah Kiser (groin), cornerback Michael Ojemudia (hamstring) and running back Melvin Gordon III (upper body) are all questionable.
Kansas City Chiefs
Next game: vs. Las Vegas Raiders
The Kansas City Chiefs are coming off a much-needed bye week. The Chiefs moved into top spot in the AFC West in Week 11 following a 19-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium. And while Patrick Mahomes and company rested their laurels over the Thanksgiving holidays, they maintained their division lead. That’s largely due to the fact that the Broncos kindly upset the Chargers at Mile High — a Los Angeles victory would have lifted the Chargers above the Chiefs in the AFC West on account of the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Running back Jerick McKinnon (hamstring) and defensive tackle Khalen Saunders (knee) are out indefinitely; Guard Kyle Long (knee), cornerback Rashad Fenton (knee), and tackle Lucas Niang (ribs) are questionable.
Betting on the Game
It’s easy to understand why the Chiefs emerge as the runaway favorites to win outright over the Broncos. The Chiefs appear to have recovered from a rough start to the season, reeling off four straight wins and five in their last six games to assume their rightful place at the throne of the AFC West.
Good form and a week of rest underscores Kansas City’s hefty odds. Betting the Chiefs on the moneyline offers no value, though, unless bettors have silly money to play with. At -420 to win outright (bet $420 to win $100), it’s a lot of dosh to put on the line.
Separately, the Broncos can’t be taken lightly when they’re in the midst of a mini-surge in form. The Broncos could shake things up in the AFC West with a win over the Chiefs, and that in of itself is motivation that could tempt upset-mongers to tickle the Broncos’ +340 moneyline odds (bet $100 to win $340). However, the question marks surrounding Bridgewater’s status can’t be ignored. Put it this way: You can forget about the Broncos entirely if Lock gets the nod.
Betting the point spread offers much better angles for profit. The Chiefs have had trouble covering the spread this season — they’re 4-7-0 ATS with a 2.8 winning margin on average and a -2.5-point differential versus the spread. That alone makes the Broncos worth a tickle for NFL picks against the spread as the +10-point road underdogs.
And yet, we come full circle and back to the uncertainty at the quarterback position. Bridgewater as the starter adds value to the Broncos as the 10-point underdogs. Butter-fingers Lock, though, brings value to the Chiefs as the 10-point home chalk So, perhaps, the best plan of action here is to wait until more is revealed from Denver’s camp before pulling the trigger.
The game total is currently set to 47 points, which is relatively high considering Kansas City’s recent accounts. In their last six games, only once has the final score gone above 47 points. And in 11 games this season, the over has cashed only five times. More likely than not, the under appears to be the better bet here but, once again, this hinges on who starts for the Broncos.