NFL Picks: Perfect 8-0 Trend Found as Denver hosts Kansas City

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, November 15, 2015 1:45 PM GMT

Our NFL handicapper spots a trend that is a perfect 8-0 with Denver this year. Read on to find the hidden value in the lines for Denver vs. Kansas City in Week 10 NFL action.

There is extreme value within offered totals lines as the 3-5 Kansas City Chiefs visit the 7-1 Denver Broncos in Week 10; the second of their season series that saw the Broncos win at Kansas City in Week 2, 31-24. However, with Denver perfect at home this year the NFL odds favoring them has some value as well. It can currently be found as skinny as 5.5 points at sites such as at 5Dimes. But my suggested wager will be over before the 2nd quarter begins. More on that later.

In the Week 2 game, the Chiefs had their best chance of late to beat a Peyton Manning led team, who had won 9 in a row against them including his time with the Colts. Taking the leading 24-17 with 2:32 left in the 4th quarter, the Chiefs still managed to give up two late touchdowns in the final minute. The last one was a fluke fumble by Jamaal Charles that was returned for a touchdown with 35 seconds left on the clock. The Chiefs won’t have to worry about Charles fumbling the ball in this one, as he was lost to a season ending knee injury a few weeks ago.

Rookie running back, Charcandrick West, has done a decent job filling in for Charles in his absence, and in the last two games has exceeded 100 yards in offense from the line of scrimmage. West has a knack for getting better as the game goes on. He averages 4.6 yards per carry overall, but has an average of 3.4 yards per carry in the 1st quarter compared to 6.2 yards per carry in the 4th quarter.

West’s average is better than the Bronco’s listed starter, Ronnie Hillman, who comes in at 4.2 yards per carry. His 2.7 yards per carry in the first quarter stinks. Hillman’s backup, C.J. Anderson, who does see some significant action for the Broncos, also starts slow in the first quarter posting his worst quarterly stat of 3.3 yards per carry.

For the record, let it be known that Jamaal Charles posted a poor 3.3 yards per carry in the first quarter of the games he started before getting hurt. That is much lower than his game average of 5.1. At this point, I’d go ahead and make the conclusion that the running games of both the Broncos and Chiefs start slow.

So if the running game isn’t going early on offense for these teams, then what is? Not the passing game it seems. Peyton Manning’s first quarter numbers show the worst split by far when compared to his other quarters. So far through 8 games, Manning has put up a QBR of 73.6 and a 0/1 TD/INT ratio in the first quarter.

Alex Smith is the only offensive starter in this matchup to show some life early in games, posting a 101.6 QBR and a 2/0 TD/INT ratio through 8 games. However, those two touchdowns came in the first 8 minutes of the season as the Chiefs got an early 14-0 lead on the surprisingly soft Houston Texas defense in Week 1. Smith has yet to throw for a touchdown in the first quarter since.

So in this game we are going to a less commonly used O/U total, the quarter line. Specifically, the first quarter, which can be found at 7.5 already at sites such as Heritage. For Denver this year, a 7.5 first quarter line would be a perfect 8-0 in favor of the Under. That trend continues in Week 10 and I am adding under 7.5 points in the first quarter as one of my Week 10 NFL picks.

NFL Pick: Chiefs & Broncos UNDER 42.5 at Bookmaker

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