We’re into Week 6 of the NFL season as the 1-4 Denver Broncos head into Kansas City on Thursday Night. Patrick Mahomes has owned Denver in his career, going 11-0 against the divisional foe, despite Denver fielding some talented defenses in recent years.
Although just one year removed from an elite season, the current iteration of the Broncos defense is far from elite, ranking as the worst defense in the NFL in terms of defensive DVOA. This is skewed by the Miami 70-point outburst in Week 3, but even looking past that week, the Denver defense hasn’t been pretty.
The Chiefs find themselves as -10.5-point favorites with the total at 49 after initially opening at 51. We’ve seen Chiefs totals get hit to the under in most games this season as the defense has been performing better than expected.
It seems like the offense has gotten back on track after their Week 1 loss to Detroit, however, looked very out of sync in their Week 4 victory over the Jets. Bettors should keep an eye out for the injury report as Travis Kelce did not practice on Monday after rolling his ankle in their Week 5 victory against the Vikings.
Kelce did in fact return to the game, so it seems that his DNP designation was more precautionary. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this KC team on a short week with their eye on the playoffs, keeping their stars healthy as best they can. Make sure to double check Wednesday’s practice reports before assuming Kelce is a full go.
As we talked about in the 49ers/Giants Thursday Night matchup a few weeks ago, historically there’s a bit of a “dead zone” in terms of outcomes landing between 10.5 and 12.5. The difference in these lines doesn’t mean a whole lot to me so I’m happy to exercise some patience and see if the market moves on this one at all.
The -10.5 has held firm since opening, as it’s understandable why bettors are not running to the counter to back Russell Wilson and the Broncos even with the hook on 10. Should that sentiment change (perhaps negative Kelce injury news), I’d be more than happy to back the Chiefs at -10 or -9.5.
The Chiefs, under Patrick Mahomes, have not been known for covering large spreads in recent years, often falling short in these “slam dunk” spots. That being said, that is still an anecdotal analysis and not necessarily predictive.
I think falling short on covering on the road against an elite defense in the Jets is not as indicative as the 41-10 rout of the Bears at home in Week 3. The Broncos have been poor against the pass and the run, so the Chiefs can pick their poison in this one.
Denver was able to put up 21 points against an elite Jets defense despite losing four fumbles. Fumbles aren’t exactly predictive, so I’m expecting Russell Wilson to continue to play better as a passer/runner.
Don’t be surprised to see some borderline dumb mistakes from this offense whether it be on a turnover or a penalty. Denver has been the 17th ranked offense in terms of offensive DVOA, despite their turnover issues. I’m going to fade the steam here and go over the total of 47.5 for a 1% play.