We take a look at the odds and lines that the sportsbooks have placed on Broncos-Chiefs.
Who is going to stop the Kansas City Chiefs at this point? The team is 10-1 with revenge on the only team to hand them a loss this season, a plus-110 point differential on the season (second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have a plus-129 differential), and the top passing offense in the league. MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes leads an offense that has two legitimate Offensive Player of the Year candidates in Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill and they’re running plays drawn up by head coach Andy Reid, who is coaching on another level right now.
There is not a team in the league stopping this offense, especially not the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos, a week after playing a game without a quarterback on the active roster, are making their yearly trip to Arrowhead this Sunday. They do actually get a quarterback this weekend, with Drew Lock testing negative for Covid-19 enough times to return to practice and play this weekend, but what difference does that make when staring down the scariest team in the league?
This week, that scary team is playing this game to win the division. A Las Vegas Raiders’ loss (who play the New York Jets, so do not bank on it) or Chiefs’ victory secures the division for K.C. With a win, the worst the Chiefs can do this season it 11-5, which is the best the Raiders can do. The Chiefs and Raiders tied in head to head wins this season, so it comes down to common opponents, where the Chiefs have victories over the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, all teams who have beaten the Raiders, a record the Raiders can not mathematically overcome if the Chiefs beat the Broncos due to the Raiders only having two common opponents left on the schedule) giving them the division title for the fifth straight year. The Chiefs undoubtedly know this and will be playing to put the division away.
Let’s take a look at the betting odds and lines for the game to see what sportsbooks are setting and how you should respond.
(Author’s Note: Bet at your own risk. All odds provided by Fanduel Sportsbook.)
Over/Under – 50.5
This is a ton of points for a divisional round, let alone a a divisional game, between two teams that are defensively built to counter the other. I highly doubt that the Broncos are going to be able to score enough points to finish out the over, so take the under.
Spread – Chiefs by 13.5
The Chiefs have one of the best defenses in getting turnovers while the Broncos offense ends almost 20 percent of their offensive drives with turnovers—they currently have the most turnovers in the league. Meanwhile, their defense allows the eighth most yards per drive, and opponents score on just over 40 percent of drives.
This game should not be close, but I have reasons to doubt the Chiefs cover the spread.
First, many Broncos got an extra week of rest, especially Drew Lock. The Broncos used a ton of backups last week, not playing to win but to survive, meaning quite a few of their players are fresher than usual. Lock did not play at all, having been deemed a “high-risk close contact” and getting to rest and study for an extra week. Sure, that does not suddenly make him more athletic or accurate, but it could potentially give him a little more knowledge.
The matchup from earlier this season was so one sided due to points scored on special teams and defense, and something like that is not consistently repeatable. Realistically, the Chiefs will need significant offensive success to cover a 14 point spread. That is something I just cannot trust in a divisional matchup in the AFC West.
I like the Chiefs to win this game, but I will not have them covering the spread larger than 9-10 points. Take the Broncos with 13.5 points.