First place in the AFC West will be on the line at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Week 11 when the fresh off the bye Kansas City Chiefs hit the road to battle the Denver Broncos. Last we saw the Chiefs in live action, the defense once again bailed them out in a 23-13 road win and cover at Buffalo. Denver won and covered its second straight at San Diego by toppling the home based Chargers 28-20 to secure a big divisional win.
Oddsmakers have lined the host Broncos as 8-point favorites and set the game ‘total’ at 49.5-points for this crucial Week 11 divisional clash.
BRONCOS – CHIEFS 2013 WEEK 11 SNF LINE:
OPEN: BRONCOS -8.5 | CURRENT: BRONCOS -8 | O/U: 49
1. Why the CHIEFS will cover the spread: It’s no secret. The Chiefs have gone as far as their defense has allowed them to go this season. The 23 turnovers Tamba Hali and the rest of his defensive mates have forced have gone a long way in seeing head coach Andy Reid lead this squad to a perfect mark through their first nine games. It will once again be up to this unit to allow that record to remain that way since KC’s offense – save for Jamaal Charles – leaves plenty to be desired with it ranked 24th in total yardage (317.3 YPG) with only 198.3 YPG coming via the pass (#27). If QB Alex Smith is once again able to play the role of game manager and not be asked to lead his team to the win, the Chiefs have a very real shot of stealing this win.
2. Why the BRONCOS will cover the spread: The Broncos will return their wagering supporters to the betting window to cash tickets if the offense can continue its assault on opposing defenses much like it has in just about every game played to date. Though the 28 points the team dropped last week on the Chargers was the season-low, Denver still ranks out first in total yardage (458.7 YPG) and points scored (41.2 PPG) by a comfortable margin.
While Peyton Manning will always play a crucial role in the team’s success, this game could hinge upon Knowshon Moreno and his back-ups taking advantage of the Chiefs porous rush “D” that’s surrendered an average of 118.6 YPG (#24) on 5.0 YPC (#31). That will give #18 some breathing room against a relentless KC pass rush that’s tallied a league-best 36 sacks.
3. Total Talk: The ‘under’ had cashed in four straight times before pushing against the closing number last season in these division rival’s second meeting in tonight’s venue. The Chiefs have played to low scorers in seven of their nine games played to date with three of four playing to the ‘under’ away from Arrowhead. Last week’s 48 combined points in San Diego saw the ‘under’ cash for the first time in a Denver game this season, but Broncos home games have averaged 65.2 PPG to date.
4. Betting Trends for Broncos/Chiefs: These teams are set to oppose one another twice over the next three weeks with the rivals set to collide the first of December at KC. Denver swept the rivalry a year ago which marked the first time that occurred since the 2007 season. But the Chiefs are no longer the pushovers they’ve been for the last handful of years, and their stellar pass defense will give the Broncos vaunted passing attack major problems. This has also been a series recently dominated by the underdog with it 6-1 ATS over the L/7 confrontations, and Denver has only covered two of its L/8 vs. +.500 opposition.
This will no doubt be a good one with both teams fighting for every yard possible. Manning couldn’t have reinjured his ankle at a worst possible time. KC will be after him all night long, so look for quick dump-offs and the running game to eat up a ton of clock. I expect the Broncos to squeak out a win here and allow the ’72 Dolphins to uncork the champagne, but banking on a low scorer is more appealing.
Denver 24 – Kansas City 20