NFL Picks: Chiefs vs. Broncos Betting Previews

David Lawrence

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 7:36 PM GMT

Yes, the Kansas City Chiefs are 9-0; but do we really know how good they are? Here's our take on why the betting odds line on this game is what it is.


We'll get a much better idea of the answer to that question when the Chiefs go up against the 8-1 Broncos in Denver Sunday night (8:30 pm ET, NBC).

A good portion of the betting public and, apparently, many bookmakers, still seem to have some doubt about Kansas City, as is evident by the NFL odds spread on this week's game.

Does the line have more to do with the Chiefs, and the suspicions as to their value? Or the Broncos, and the offensive weight they can throw around?

The Turnaround

The Chiefs went 2-14 last year, with a lot of the same players on this year's roster. Now, with a change in head coaches, KC is the last remaining undefeated team in the league. What gives?

For one thing, the Chiefs are healthier. Last year the injury bug took a big bite out of KC. This year, the Chiefs have managed, for the most part, to keep that bug at bay.

Also, the Chiefs made an upgrade at quarterback, bringing in Alex Smith, dumping Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel.

Finally, as often happens in the NFL, the schedule has played its part. So far this season KC has played just one team that made the playoffs last year, and maybe one team that looks like it might make the playoffs this year.

The Chiefs opened this season as field-goal favorites at Jacksonville; they won and covered easily, no big deal.

Then they were favored by three points at home over Dallas; they won 17-16 but couldn't cover.

Then they were getting three points at Philly; then won outright.

From there the oddsmakers lined KC at -3.5 over the Giants (the Chiefs won and covered); at -2.5 over Tennessee (won and covered); at -7.5 over Oakland (won and covered); at -7 over Houston (won but didn't cover); at -7 over Cleveland (ditto); and most recently at -4.5 at Buffalo (won and covered, thanks to two defensive touchdowns). 

Kansas City just had last week off.

So on the season KC is 6-3 ATS. And yet a team that's 9-0 and hasn't played anybody that owns a winning record hasn't been favored by more than 7.5 points. Hmmm. What's that tell us? Anything?

Betting Odds Report Week 11~

Meanwhile, in BroncoLand ...

Early this season Denver looked unstoppable, like the best team in the league. The Broncos opened the season with a rout of the defending Super Bowl champions, then put up 41 points on the Giants, 37 on the Raiders, 52 on the Eagles, 51 on Dallas but “only” 35 on Jacksonville.

Denver then suffered its only loss of the season so far at Indianapolis, but has since beaten Washington and San Diego.

But neither the books or the bettors have been surprised by anything the Broncos have done this year. Denver has been favored by seven points over the Ravens, 16 over Oakland, 10 over Philly, nine over the Cowboys, 27 over the Jags, six over the Colts, 11 over the 'Skins and seven over the Chargers. And yet, with such numbers to beat, the Broncos have still managed to go 5-3-1 ATS this season.

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This Week's Betting Line

For the 106th meeting between these two original AFL franchises most NFL betting outlets opened Denver at right around -8.5 over KC. As of Tuesday afternoon the Broncos could be gotten at as low as -7.5, while the Chiefs could be found at as much at +9.5. 

We'll revisit this game later this week and offer up a free NFL pick, on both the side and the total, for anyone who might interested in such a thing.