Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos:Thursday night features quite the AFC West clash, as the Kansas City Chiefs bring their two-game losing streak into Denver against a Broncos squad that’s on a two-game win streak of its own.
How many total points will be scored in the 1st quarter?
The pick: 0-3 points
Folks, this screams low scoring. I’m going 0 to 3, a field goal at best. Pat Mahomes is not at his best, nursing that ankle injury. And we know that all this Denver offense wants to do is run the football. I think it’ll be a low scoring first quarter.
How will the first touchdown be scored?
The pick: Broncos – Rushing
Folks, in the last four games, the Chiefs’ defense has given up at least 180 yards on the ground. Denver’s strategy its going to be simple: run the football, chew the clock and hopefully, keep Pat Mahomes off the field. I’m picking a Denver rushing touchdown to be the first score of the game.
How many yards will Mahomes throw for in the first half?
The pick: 111-130 yards
This is a difficult one because he can’t throw for many yards without the football. We saw both Indianapolis and Houston hold the ball and chew the clock, keeping Pat Mahomes off the field. I don’t think he’s going to have big numbers. I’m even benching him in fantasy. I would go 111-130 passing yards in the first half.
What will be the length of the first drive of the 2nd half?
The pick: 10-19 yards
Well, without knowing who’s going to win the coin toss, I’m just going to go with another short drive because that’s what Denver’s done all season. I will go between 10 and 19 yards. And here’s a quick reminder: the Chiefs last week, after getting than 17-3 lead against the Texans, could not move the football.
Who will catch or rush for the first TD of the 2nd half?
The pick: Phillip Lindsay
I’ve got to go with the number one option for the Denver Broncos, Phillip Lindsay. He’ll beat you on the ground. He loves to catch passes out of the backfield. Remember, the Chiefs’ linebackers are not a really good unit. They are susceptible against the pass. I’m taking Phillip Lindsay to score the first touchdown of the second half.
Who will win and by how many points?
The pick: Chiefs by 6 or less
I really, really wanted to take Denver here, guys. The line has been dropping all week. But I’m reluctantly going to go with the Kansas City Chiefs to win by six or fewer. I actually feel like this is a field goal-type game. Maybe the Chiefs by one or two, but a very close TNF game.
Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs
When and where is the game?
The Denver Broncos host the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday, October 17.
Kick-off is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET.
The Kansas City Chiefs will try to extend their dominance over the Denver Broncos when the two AFC West rivals square off on Thursday Night Football. The Chiefs have won seven consecutive games against Denver and haven’t lost to the Broncos since September 2015, but Kansas City (4-2) enters Thursday’s game having dropped back-to-back games to Indianapolis and Houston due in part to a leaky run defense. Meanwhile, Denver (2-4), which started the season 0-4, has ridden a stingy defense to consecutive victories. Prior to the back-to-back wins, the Broncos had lost eight straight games. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET from Mile High. Kansas City is a three-point favorite in the latest Broncos vs. Chiefs odds, down from an open of 3.5, and the over-under for total points scored is 49, down one from where the line opened. Before you make any Chiefs vs. Broncos picks and Thursday Night Football predictions, you should see which side SportsLine senior analyst Larry Hartstein is backing.
A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. Last year, he went 61-47 on all of his NFL picks, and he’s even hotter this year, going 24-11 with his NFL picks against the spread. In addition, Hartstein is a stunning 5-1 in his last six against the spread picks involving the Broncos. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Hartstein has locked in on Chiefs vs. Broncos on Thursday Night Football. He’s sharing his pick only at SportsLine.
Hartstein has taken into account that Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes remains a game-changing quarterback. Despite uneven moments in the past few games, the reigning MVP still leads the league in passing yards per game (350.7) while throwing 14 touchdowns (second in the NFL) against just one interception. That interception, on Sunday against the Texans, was his first in 219 attempts.
Hartstein also has factored in that the Chiefs will be facing one of the poorest offenses in the NFL. Denver ranks 26th in scoring offense (17.7 points a game) and 25th in total offense (336.2 yards per game). On Sunday against Tennessee, the Broncos produced a season-low 270 total yards.
Even so, Kansas City isn’t guaranteed to cover the Chiefs vs. Broncos spread on Thursday Night Football.
Denver is playing winning defense right now. During the team’s two-game winning streak, the Broncos allowed opponents an average of 225.0 yards per game and 6.5 points. In Sunday’s shutout of the Titans, Denver held Tennessee to 39 rushing yards, 3.3 net yards per play and 2-of-14 on third downs.
In addition the Broncos will face a Chiefs defense that has struggled stopping the run. Kansas City is allowing 161.8 rushing yards per game, and only the Dolphins and Bengals have been worse this season. That bodes well for a Denver offense that ranks 14th in the NFL in rushing at 116.0 yards per game.
We can tell you Hartstein is leaning Under, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He says a critical x-factor makes one side of this spread a must-back. You can only see what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.