NFL Picks: Low Total Suggests That Broncos & Chiefs Will Go 'Over' 41.5 on Thursday Night Football

Jason Lake

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 7:44 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 16, 2015 7:44 PM GMT

The UNDER was the early NFL pick for Thursday's game between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs. Elsewhere, up is down, and dogs are sleeping with cats.

Jason's 2015 record as of Sept. 15: 4-3 ATS; 2-2 Total

The Denver Broncos have been through some changes. They've got a new head coach in Gary Kubiak, a young offensive line, and a quarterback on the verge of a midlife crisis. Expecting the 2015 Broncos to put up the same kind of videogame numbers they have in recent years would have been folly.

But has it really come to this? After Denver's offense was shut down by the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, the total for Thursday night's matchup (8:25 p.m. ET, CBS/NFLN) with the Kansas City Chiefs opened at 44.5 points. Then people started pounding the UNDER. At press time, you can find totals as low as 41.5 points on our NFL odds board. For the Denver Broncos.

Broncos vs. Chiefs Spread Pick

Broncos Player Props

Chiefs Player Props

I Want Those Flashing Lights
This total isn't in our immediate comfort zone for betting the OVER – it takes something below 37 points before the bells and whistles start going off. However, 41.5 points is on the lower end of the spectrum, and did we mention the Denver Broncos are playing Thursday night? The smallest total they saw all of last year was 47 points, and they still drove the OVER to a 10-6 record during the regular season.

Of course, that was the 2014 Broncos. And both their games against Kansas City went UNDER; in Week 2, Denver won 24-17 (UNDER 49), and in Week 13, Denver won 29-16 (UNDER 49). This year's Broncos are off to a very slow start, beating the Baltimore Ravens 19-13 (UNDER 46.5) in Week 1; this game featured one defensive touchdown apiece, plus field goals of 57 yards and 56 yards by Denver PK Brandon McManus. That was in the thin air at Mile High. Thursday's game is at Arrowhead.

 

Mitch Morse Music
We've already talked about Peyton Manning's arm and Denver's growing pains on the offensive line, but what about the improvements the Chiefs have made on offense? They've given QB Alex Smith a fresh set of receivers, led by former Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin. They've upgraded their offensive line with second-round pick Mitch Morse at center. And they beat the Houston Texans 27-20 (OVER 41) in Week 1. The Texans project to have the No. 8-ranked defense in the NFL this year, according to Football Outsiders.

Denver's defense projects even higher at No. 3, and the early returns have been very promising. We're still going to recommend a tiny bet on the OVER with your NFL picks in this particular matchup. The Kansas City Chiefs are healthy going into Week 2; Denver RB C.J. Anderson is questionable after rolling his ankle against Baltimore, but he's expected to play. It would be lovely if the total shrank to 41 points or lower before kick-off – too bad it's a short week. We're getting in now, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

NFL Pick: Take OVER 41.5 (–110) at bet365

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