- Chiefs beat Broncos 43-16 earlier this season
- Denver is 1-9 against the spread in their last 10 games at Kansas City
- The Chiefs are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games against AFC foes
It started with Denver’s practice squad quarterback Jeff Driskel testing positive for coronavirus and ended with practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton starting behind center for the Broncos in a forgettable 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Denver falls to 4-7 straight up and 6-5 against the spread.
Thanks to Tyreek Hill, Kansas City jumped out to a 17-0 lead, but the Chiefs defense let Tom Brady and the Buccaneers +3.5 rip off a 17-point second half to hit the backdoor cover in a 27-24 victory to improve to 10-1 overall, but just 6-5 against the spread this season.
|Week 13: Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs Game Info|
|Date: December 6, 2020, 8:20 p.m. ET|
|Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium|
|TV Coverage: NBC|
|Opening Odds: Kansas City -11 | O/U 48|
|How to Bet: Best Online Sportsbook Reviews|
The Chiefs opened as 11-point home favorites, but that has swelled to Kansas City -14. The Broncos moneyline opened at +645. The point total opened at 48.5, but ticked up to 50.5. The total has gone OVER in four of the Chiefs last five games against the AFC West.
Kansas City crushed the Broncos, 43-16, in Denver a little over a month ago. The Chiefs scored special teams and defensive touchdowns in that contest.
This is Denver’s first road game since November 15.
Broncos News and Notes
In an industry where strategy and game planning rule the day, the Broncos quarterback corps dropped the proverbial ball. Reports suggest that practice squad quarterback Jeff Driskel was asymptomatic when he interacted with the top three QB’s on the depth chart, Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles. That trio were not wearing masks during group sessions and when Driskel tested positive for COVID-19, all three were deemed high-risk and ruled ineligible Saturday night. NFL protocols wouldn’t allow for a new quarterback to be signed without first testing negative for five straight days. So, Kendall Hinton – thrown into the fire – completed just one of nine passes for 13 yards. Assuming Lock, Rypien or Bortles is cleared this week, Denver’s outlook returns to what it was before this roster emergency, which is to say, not great.
The Broncos possess the second-worst scoring offense at just 19 points per game and just 11.3 PPG over their past three. Denver also committed four turnovers in their earlier season loss to the Chiefs. So, the challenge to hang with the Chiefs this Sunday falls on the defense to make plays. Despite the 43 points allowed, you might be surprised to learn the defense did not allow Kansas City to convert one third down (0-8). This actually allowed the Broncos to win time of possession 33-27.
Chiefs News and Notes
Kansas City’s average margin of victory during their active six-game win streak is 11.8 points per game. However, that MOV average has dipped to just three points over their past three wins; victories against the Panthers, Raiders and Buccaneers. In each of those games, the Chiefs were heavy pass. Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s number of touches is slightly up the past two games, but pale in comparison to the heavy workload he and the backfield enjoyed the first six weeks. Perhaps a more balanced approach may open up some play-action pass plays for Mahomes.
For as great as a 10-1 record and 6-game winning streak is, the Chiefs do possess an Achilles heel on defense. Their league-worst red zone defense sees opposing offenses scored a touchdown 74.2 percent of the time. So, if the Broncos quarterback o’ the week manages to move the football into the Chiefs red zone, they could hang around the make bookmakers look silly for posting a 14-point spread.
Betting Pick: Chiefs -14
Even if Lock, Rypien, Bortles and Driskel avoid additional punishment, Kansas City’s offense has hit its stride and appear to possess a significant advantage over a team completely out of sync following the COVID-19 quarterback disaster of last week.
Reason to Fade: if the Chiefs don’t score on defense and special teams in their first win over Denver, they win 29-16 and fail to cover the -14.