The Chiefs could take an early big step toward a potential West title with a Thursday Night Football win vs. the visiting Broncos. Let's examine Chiefs props and odds at sportsbooks.
Alex Smith O/U 21.5 Completions, 220.5 Yards, 1.5 TD Passes, .5 INTs
Smith O/U 14.5 Rushing Yards
Smith +1800 To Be Game's First TD Scorer
You know what you are getting with Smith: a very accurate thrower on short passes but a guy who just isn't strong on deep throws. He generally won't beat a team, but he also won't lose the game. If you give Smith a lead, you probably win. Ask him to lead a comeback, and that's unlikely. That said, Smith was probably the biggest reason the Chiefs won in Houston in Week 1 as he completed 22-for-33 for 243 yards (still only 7.36 yards per attempt) with three touchdowns and no picks. His rating of 118.6 is sixth in the NFL. Smith had only 18 touchdown passes last year -- not a one to a receiver -- and rating of 93.4. In a Week 2 loss in Denver last season, Smith was 26-for-42 (second-most attempts for season) for 255 yards, no TDs and no picks. He rushed five times for 42 yards. In a home loss to the Broncos, Smith was 15-for-23 for 153 yards (lowest yardage of season) with two TDs, one pick and six yards rushing on five carries. Smith ran for 15 yards on nine carries last week. His line largely protected him against J.J. Watt. The Broncos' pass defense was tremendous against the Ravens, allowing just 100 net passing yards, lowest in the NFL. And they have two great pass-rushers in Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. But really, Smith's numbers depend on how much the Chiefs are able to run the ball.
NFL Free Picks: 'UNDER' all passing props except interceptions. 'OVER' rushing yards and Smith isn't the game's first TD scorer.
Jamaal Charles O/U 69.5 Rushing Yards, 30.5 Receiving Yards, 4 Receptions
Charles -160 To Be Anytime TD Scorer
Charles +360 To Be Game's First TD Scorer
Is Charles the best all-around back in the NFL? That argument can certainly be made, and he's the centerpiece of this offense, not Smith. In the Week 1 victory in Houston, Charles rushed 16 times for 57 yards and caught five passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. Charles did little in the two losses to Denver in 2014. In the game in the Mile High City, he barely played due to injury. And in the game at Arrowhead, Charles had 10 carries for 35 yards and four catches for 24. The Broncos will focus on stopping Charles, but the Chiefs are still going to feed him the ball plenty.
NFL Free Picks: 'UNDER' rushing, 'OVER' both receiving. Charles does score the game's first TD.
Jeremy Maclin O/U 5 Receptions, 60.5 Receiving Yards
Travis Kelce O/U 5 Receptions, 60.5 Receiving Yards
Unbelievably, the Chiefs still haven't had a touchdown pass to a receiver since December 2013. Charles caught one last week and Kelce, a tight end, the other two. Kelce had a big game, catching six passes for 102 yards and two scores. Maclin, the first true deep threat the Chiefs have had in a few years, was the team's big free-agent signing this offseason from the Eagles. He caught five passes for 52 yards last Sunday and the NFL odds suggest another quiet night Maclin.
NFL Free Picks: 'UNDER' both on Maclin, 'over' both on Kelce.
Chiefs Total QB Sacks O/U 2.5
Kansas City has the NFL's premier pass-rusher at the moment in linebacker Justin Houston, who led the league with 22 last season -- just a half-sack off the NFL record -- and was rewarded with a huge new extension this offseason. Houston had one sack last week against the Texans and it led to a Brian Hoyer fumble and eventually a Chiefs touchdown. Normally you don't see Broncos QB Peyton Manning sacked because he gets the ball out so quickly. However, with four new offensive linemen from last season, including two making their NFL debut, Manning went down four times against Baltimore last week. That was the most he was sacked since 2013. In the two wins vs. the Chiefs last year, Manning went down a total of two times.
NFL Free Pick: 'UNDER'