Sharps Focus on Chiefs vs. Broncos for Week 2 NFL Picks

Jason Lake

Monday, September 8, 2014 11:37 AM GMT

Action is already heating up for Week 2 of the NFL regular season. And if early action is sharp action, it looks like the big hitters of the football betting world are focussed on the usual suspects: the Denver Broncos.

Long before the end of Sunday’s action, the Week 2 lines were up on the NFL odds board, and it didn’t take long for the money to start coming in. We’ve already seen the football odds move on a number of matchups. If you read my last tips for Week 1 you know what that means – the sharps have come out to play. They’ve got their mitts all over these NFL lines. Especially the late Sunday matinee (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS) at Mile High between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs.

 

I Like to Move
The shenanigans started just after Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. kick-off, when the Broncos opened as 9-point favorites on the Strip. That set off a feeding frenzy, pushing the spread to 12 and even 13 points when the first online sportsbooks joined the fray. Denver would settle back down to 12 points as we went to press. We don’t have enough data yet to produce a consensus report (check the NFL odds board for current figures), but we’re pretty comfortable that the general public & early betting action was on the Broncos.

This is a pretty significant line move, too. When you move a football spread from nine points to 12, you cross one of the “magic numbers” in NFL betting, the number 10. That’s one converted touchdown plus one field goal. According to the Wizard of Odds, ten points is the third most valuable barrier to break when the lines are moving. Here are the Top 5 magic numbers and how many cents each is worth (fair price) when you want to buy a half-point onto, or away from, that number.

3 points           21.4 cents

7 points           14.0 cents

10 points         10.6 cents

14 points         9.9 cents

21 points         9.8 cents

You can see how these spreads are clustered around combinations of touchdowns and field goals. In the case of the Chiefs-Broncos matchup, the first people into the betting market (whom we expect to be sharp) must be very confident in Denver’s chances, pumping up that opening spread to 10 points and well beyond.

 

Shot Through the Heel, and You’re to Blame
By the way, this push had nothing to do with the way Denver beat the Indianapolis Colts (+8 away) 31-24 on Sunday Night Football. That game had yet to start. But the sharps were definitely influenced by the way Kansas City lost 26-10 to the Tennessee Titans (+3 away) in their early Sunday affair. The Chiefs, who are strong candidates for regression in 2014, managed just 245 yards total against Tennessee. QB Alex Smith had one of his bad days with three interceptions. RB Jamaal Charles rushed seven times for 19 yards.

That wasn’t even the worst news for the Chiefs. They lost both LB Derrick Johnson and LE Mike DeVito for the season to torn Achilles tendons. With LB Joe Mays (wrist) also out until at least Week 9, this leaves the Kansas City defense in a shambles heading into Mile High. The Chiefs went 11-5 SU and 9-7 ATS last year after improving from No. 30 to No. 9 on the defensive efficiency charts. The offense was also much better under Smith and head coach Andy Reid, moving up from No. 31 in efficiency to No. 15. But losing Johnson and DeVito threatens to undo much of what the Chiefs accomplished last year.

While we await further injury news from Week 1, keep an eye on that Chiefs-Broncos line to see how the bettors respond to Sunday night’s matador cover by the Colts. Denver looked like deserving Super Bowl favorites before Indianapolis started working its late-game voodoo, recovering an onside kick to set up the decisive touchdown. Chuckstrong rides again.

When placing your NFL picks, we recommend using the services of a trusted sportsbook like Pinnacle Sports

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