The Kansas City Chiefs drag a couple of negative trends into their meeting with the desperate Denver Broncos on Christmas night. The Chiefs are listed as 3.5-point favorites against the Broncos with a 37.5-point total in the Sunday Night Football matchup.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Kansas City is 10-2 straight-up but 4-8 against the spread over its last 12 home games. The Broncos are 6-1 ATS in their last seven visits to Kansas City.
Defending Super Bowl champion Denver, at 8-6 SU and ATS, is at risk of missing the playoffs. An offensive line which has allowed 40 sacks – and faces pass rushers such as DE Chris Jones and OLB Dee Ford on Sunday – and a 27th-ranked run game have held back the progress of first-year starting QB Trevor Siemian. The Broncos have 11 lost fumbles this season and Kansas City is +13 in takeaways, so that could work against Denver as well.
Kansas City’s defense is very stingy at home. To have any shot, the Broncos will need their vaunted D to keep the game close and give WR Emmanuel Sanders and WR Demaryius Thomas the chance to make impact plays in the fourth quarter.
Kansas City is 10-4 SU and 7-7 ATS, good for the fourth-best record in the NFL, but their performance sometimes leaves observers wanting more. The Broncos have the NFL’s best pass defense (5.8 yards per pass, only 10 TD passes allowed). Scoring opportunities are likely to be few and far between, so QB Alex Smith and primary targets such as TE Travis Kelce and WR Tyreek Hill will have to finish drives.
Broncos OLB Von Miller (three sacks in the teams’ last matchup) will be a disruptive force at some point. Denver’s defensive line has regressed, though, and the unit has fallen to 16th in opponents’ yards per carry. The Chiefs have the capability to grind out yards with RB Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West.
The total has gone over in 11 of the Broncos’ last 14 games with a closing total of 38 points or less. The total has gone under in eight of the Chiefs’ last 10 games.