The undefeated Kansas City Chiefs are
getting eight points on the Sunday Night
Football lines versus the once-defeated Denver Broncos. Guess which side
the sharps are on?
record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to November 12 inclusive:
ML (+0.71 units)
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We’re all adults here. We know that wins
and losses aren’t the best indicator of a quality football team. But it’s still
strange to see the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs (9-0 SU, 6-3 ATS) getting
eight points on the NFL lines for Sunday night’s Mile High matchup against the
Denver Broncos (8-1 SU, 5-3-1 ATS). Eight points?! More like Eight Miles High.
Forgive me for being blunt (ahem), but the NFL sharps have been blazing a trail to the ticket window, and they’re lighting up
the Chiefs at a 66-percent clip according to our consensus reports at press
time. That generous NFL odds have already been burnt all the way down from as
high as 10.5 points (+115 for Denver) in early trading on Monday. Let’s all
take a deep inhale and contemplate whether the Chiefs can skunk the Broncos on
their own grass.
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge
that the Broncos are the best team in the NFL – according to the efficiency
numbers through Week 10, that is. Football Outsiders has Denver ranked No. 1
overall and No. 1 in offense; if you look at all the stats going back to 1989,
the Broncos have the No. 6-ranked offense in that time frame, one slot behind
the 1998 Broncos team that went 14-2 and won Super Bowl XXXIII. Primo stuff.
But this is not a perfect team by any
means. The Broncos are also ranked No. 20 in defensive efficiency, preventing
them from completely shredding the NFL betting lines. Injuries have been part
of the problem; CB Champ Bailey has played just two games this year and remains
week-to-week with a sprained foot. The Broncos are still solid against the run
(No. 9 overall), but without Bailey in Pro Bowl form, their pass defense has
slipped all the way to No. 24 on the efficiency charts.
the Dope Out
The Chiefs, meanwhile, are only No. 8 in
overall efficiency (No. 18 offense, No. 7 defense, No. 4 special
teams), taking advantage of the softest schedule in the NFL up to this point.
How soft? Here are the nine teams they’ve beaten, listed by their efficiency
rankings through Week 10:
No. 11 Dallas Cowboys
No. 15 Philadelphia Eagles
No. 25 Buffalo Bills
No. 26 Cleveland Browns
No. 27 Tennessee Titans
No. 28 New York Giants
No. 29 Houston Texans
No. 31 Oakland Raiders
No. 32 Jacksonville Jaguars
That’s right: seven of the eight worst
teams in the NFL, plus a pair of NFC East teams who lead their division at 5-5.
That 9-0 record in Real Wins translates to 6.6 Estimated Wins when you look at
point differential and strength of opposition. Meanwhile, Denver’s eight Real
Wins become 9.4 Estimated Wins – although it must be pointed out that the
Broncos have played the second-softest schedule in the NFL. The football gods
were very kind to the AFC West this year.
Kansas City’s offense might also be a
little off-kilter Sunday night (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) after WR Dwayne Bowe was
arrested earlier this week for speeding and – what else? – possession of
marijuana. However, it doesn’t appear to be a serious enough offense to keep
Bowe from playing this week. He’s second on the team with 33 catches and a pair
of TDs; most of the heavy lifting is being done by RB Jamaal Charles (4.3 yards
per carry, 47 catches) as QB Alex Smith dinks and dunks his way downfield.
Dinking and dunking isn’t sexy, but it
works. I’m going with the sharps here; I’m a big Peyton Manning fan, but he’s
got a sore ankle, and many of his teammates on offense are playing hurt. The
Chiefs defense will bring even more pain on Sunday. But not to worry, Denver
fans. There’s no shortage of medicinal compound available in your state.
NFL Pick: Take the Chiefs +8.5 at BetUS
Be sure to take a look at our:
NFL Picks: Week 11 Value Picks
NFL Picks: Week 11 Fades & Games to Avoid