Suddenly, the Denver Broncos (5-8 SU, 8-5 ATS) appear to be a more competitive team according to NFL betting sites. Of course, maybe we’re jumping the gun a little bit. But they have won two games in a row and looked impressive in the process. And perhaps not so coincidentally, they’ve done it with a rookie quarterback. It was not supposed to take this long, but Drew Lock got injured in training camp. Once they found an opening, they inserted him. And they have scored consecutive victories over the Los Angeles Chargers and Houston Texans. Now they come into Arrowhead Stadium with a 5-8 record (8-5 ATS) for a date with the Kansas City Chiefs (9-4 SU, 7-6 ATS), beginning at 1 PM ET on Sunday.
The game will be televised on a regional basis by CBS. And if you are a BetAnySports customer, you can place wagers while the contest is in progress, using Sports Betting Ultra.
Un-LOCK-ing the Denver offense
Lock, in only his second NFL start, went 22-for-27 against Houston. He had 309 yards through the air and three touchdowns in the 30-24 victory. We don’t discount the possibility that he may have been catching the Texans a little flat after the beat New England. But that’s not Denver’s fault. It was a very solid effort. And management is going to feel a lot better about him now.
Lock isn’t going to take the Kansas City secondary to school, however. So Denver is going to have to lean heavily on its running game. This is mindful of the Chiefs’ inability to stop enemy ground attacks all season long. In fact, Kansas City is allowing more than five yards per attempt, and is 29th in the league in stuff rate. So if you’ve got running backs, you’ve got to use them. And the Broncos have capable guys back there. Philip Lindsay, last year’s rookie sensation, has run for 817 yards with a 4.5-yard average. And then Royce Freeman is there to give him relief. Don’t underestimate with these guys can do.
Here are the numbers……
In the NFL betting odds that have posted on this game, Kansas City’s a double-digit favorite:
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs Week 15 NFL Betting Odds
|Broncos||+10 (-116)||44 (-114)||+400|
|Chiefs||-10 (-103)||44 (-106)||-525|
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A Kansas City letdown?
The Chiefs are coming off a big victory of their own, as they defeated New England Patriots last time out. There was some concern coming out of that game, however, as Patrick Mahomes appears to have a hand injury. The word out of camp is that he’ll be okay and ready to go. How that will affect his throwing is another question. Mahomes has a very healthy 8.3 yards per attempt. And his ratio of touchdown passes to interceptions is 21-to-3, which means mistakes will be at a minimum.
Since he is such a quick decision-maker, it’s altogether possible that he will have time to throw. After all, he’s been sacked only 13 times. So Denver pass rushers like Von Miller should have their hands full with him.
It would be very advantageous for Denver to be able to push back that Kansas City defensive line on first and second down. That’s because they are only 31% successful on third-down conversions. They might have a pretty good shot at doing that. And if they can, they will move the chains and chew clock. Whether they can beat Kansas City at this venue remains doubtful. It bears mentioning that the Chiefs have won eight straight meetings in this series.
What kind of interesting about this matchup is that if Mahomes’ hand is not 100%, Kansas City may have to go with a bit more conservative game plan. And while we are sure they are not going to be “vanilla” about it, this may keep their score down. In point of fact, Kansas City scores have usually been down at Arrowhead, as opposed to road games. Since Andy Reid has been the head coach, they have averaged almost three points less at home than on the road. And the manifestation of this is an extremely solid 62.5% “under” rate at home with Reid. That’s probably not a bad way for us to go.
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