So the Denver Broncos are for real?
Or is this just another false hope alarm?
For the second time in three games, the Broncos pulled an upset out of their collective hat. Thanks to the 28-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, Denver remains in the thick of the AFC Playoffs race and a contender for the AFC West title.
The task now for the Broncos (6-5) is to stack this type of game on top of each other. That certainly doesn’t get any easier as Denver takes on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) on Sunday Night Football at Arrowhead Stadium.
Broncos vs Chiefs odds
If that wasn’t enough, Denver is also looking to end an absurd 11-game losing streak to the Chiefs. The last time the Broncos beat Kansas City was in Week 2 of the 2015 regular season. Yes, that means Peyton Manning was the last quarterback to beat the Chiefs.
To say Denver has a steep climb in front of it is an understatement. The Broncos betting odds reflect that. Right now they’re a massive -point underdog to Mahomes and KC.
Also keep in mind that the Chiefs are coming off their bye. Andy Reid is 19-3 in the regular season after a bye week. But there’s an interesting to twist to that: Reid is 1-1 against the Broncos coming off the bye.
So there’s hope?
Until you remember the Broncos are an atrocious 3-19 in Kansas City in December. The three wins for Denver:
- Dec. 1, 2013
- Dec. 6, 2009
- Dec. 4, 1994
But given how crazy the NFL season has been, anything is possible at this point.
One other interesting betting tidbit from the recent history between these two teams: Mahomes is 7-0 straight up and 5-2 against the spread vs the Broncos. On the other hand, in his career as a road underdog, Teddy Bridgewater is 19-3 against the spread.
As for the total, the over/under for Sunday night sits at .
There’s one definite NFL betting trend when it comes to this Denver team. The over has hit just twice this season. Keep that in your back pocket if you’re thinking about placing a bet on this Sunday’s game.
How the Broncos win/cover
Again, it’s no secret how Denver must play to get to have a chance. Run the football.
That’s what the Broncos did against Los Angeles to great success. Whether it’s rookie Javonte Williams or Melvin Gordon, don’t fix what ain’t broke. If Denver can replicate that rushing attack against the Chiefs, it controls the time of possession and keeps Mahomes on the sideline.
If you caught a but coming, you’re right.
The Kansas City defense is better than the Chargers, at least through the last four games. The biggest reason is the health of Chris Jones and Frank Clark. Jones is dominating the line of scrimmage and if he does that against the Broncos, Denver is in serious trouble.
Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnolo knows if you shut down the Broncos running game, you shut down their offense.
And at some point, the injuries to the Denver offensive line will start to show up.
On defense, the Broncos need to replicate what they did against Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Interior pressure on Mahomes is the start, but limiting big plays from Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce is the other key.
The good news is Vic Fangio has shown he has the defensive blueprint to slow down the Chiefs offensive machine. Now Denver needs the offense to hold up its end of the bargain in this rivalry.
Given how crazy this NFL season has been, a Broncos upset of Kansas City isn’t that far-fetched. Crazier things have happened.
There’s still some doubt whether this Denver team is for real.