Is the Denver Partnership Between QB Wilson and Head Coach Payton Ready to Implode?
It would be difficult to find a more one-sided series in the NFL right now than the one between AFC West rivals Kansas City and Denver. The Chiefs vs Broncos lines list the Chiefs as the favorites for the 12th time in a row.
The Kansas City Chiefs have won the last 16 matchups with Denver with the last win by the Broncos coming in 2015. Denver has covered in three of the last four meetings as all three of those games finished as one-score games.
The NFL betting lines have visiting Kansas City listed as the seven-point favorite. It is the smallest line between the teams since a 2020 matchup in Denver when the Chiefs won 43-16 as a seven-point favorite.
Kansas City is playing without linebacker Nick Bolton as well as receivers Richie James and Justin Watson.
The Denver Broncos will be without safety Kareem Jackson as he will serve the first of a two-game suspension for repeated penalties for unnecessary roughness. Fellow safety Justin Simmons is questionable. Tight end Greg Dulcich is out.
When looking at the NFL standings, Denver is already four games behind Kansas City in the AFC West race.
The teams are meeting for the second time this month with Kansas City leading by 16 points after three quarters on the way to a 19-8 win. It was the lowest-scoring game between the teams since 2019.
Since Patrick Mahomes took over as the starting quarterback in Kansas City in 2018, the Chiefs have 20 more wins than any other team and 49 more victories than Denver.
Kansas City (+450) has the best odds to win the Super Bowl with Denver well back at +50000 in the championship odds.
Day/Time: Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
Line: Kansas City -350; Denver +280
Defense Doesn’t Rest for the Chiefs
It is understandable that Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce dominate the headlines in Kansas City and that was the case even before Kelce started dating singer Taylor Swift. However, don’t underestimate how well the defense is playing.
Even with young linebacker Nick Bolton sidelined, the Chiefs are second in the NFL in scoring defense and top 10 in other key categories.
The Chiefs are ranked in the top three in the NFL in passing yards, total yards, and touchdown passes. They have also allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL. They are especially difficult to score against in the first and third quarters. Keep that in mind when looking at the Chiefs vs Broncos lines.
Denver managed just 82 passing yards and 197 total yards in the first matchup of the season.
Kansas City has covered against the NFL betting lines in five of its last six games.
All Sorts of Issues in Denver
The trades to acquire quarterback Russell Wilson and lure head coach Sean Payton out of a short-lived retirement could set the franchise back years.
Denver gave up two first-round and two second-round picks as part of the haul to trade for Wilson.
Denver gave up this year’s first-round pick and a 2024 second-round selection to New Orleans so the Broncos could hire Payton.
The pairing of a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and head coach has been a disaster and now there are reports that Payton wants to trade Wilson.
Among AFC teams, only New England has a worse scoring differential than Denver. The Broncos have been outscored 120-49 in the second and third quarters of games this season. That could factor into the Chiefs vs Broncos lines.
The total has gone over in nine of Denver’s last 12 games.
When taking a look at the NFL scores, Kansas City, listed as the 10.5-point favorite at home, got a 55-yard field goal by Harrison Butker to cover with a 19-8 win on Oct. 12. The Chiefs failed to cover in the previous three matchups.
The game came nowhere close to the 47.5-point total.
With a 46-point total, it will be the ninth time in the last 10 games to have a total in the 40s.
Chiefs vs Broncos Betting Preview
Kansas City has gotten off to some slow starts this season but is one of the top-scoring teams in the second quarter of games.
Trying to deal with the Mahomes to Kelce connection is hard enough with a healthy secondary and that is not the situation with Denver coming into the game.
Denver is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and with Javonte Williams coming off a solid game, the Broncos may look to try to keep the powerful Kansas City offense on the sidelined with time-consuming drives.
Denver has covered just one game so far this season.
Kansas City has won seven consecutive road games and eight games in a row on the road versus the Broncos.
The good news is Denver is coming into the game off a win. However, it might be asking a bit much for the Broncos to snap Kansas City’s six-game winning streak.